Recipe: Organic Pop Tarts / Pastries
Suitable for: Vegans and everyone else.
Recipe size: This recipe made 4 regular sized pop tarts and 3 mini tarts. I only made a half batch because this was a test. To make a full batch double the ingredients below.
Why make these?
As a kid I REALLY liked those oh so bad for you toaster pastries. The kind with the cream icing. I've been trying to figure out a good way to make them homemade. Also, I was seriously craving green apple something today, but not a whole pie.
They did not turn out exactly right though, because for them to be "pastry-like," I would have had to use puff pastry - which will be my next try. These turned out more like pop tarts, which I've had, but I'm not a fan of. Luckily, these are about 150% better than store bought pop tarts.
My partner said, "This is about the best thing I ever ate." My son actually ate a whole one and he almost NEVER eats an entire sweet, so that was impressive. He said they were delicious. I liked them too. These would make a great dessert for any occasion.
Ingredients for crust
- 1 cup organic flour. I used whole wheat pastry flour.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- About 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter - I used Earth Balance
- 1/4 cup milk alternative - I used organic vanilla soy milk
Make your dough
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until the flour mixture looks like little pea-sized crumbs. Mix in your milk so that the dough is just sticking together. If you need more or less milk, that's okay. You don't want sticky dough though, so don't add too much.
Don't knead. Instead, pull your dough into a ball. Roll it into a rectangle shape.
Then fold the rectangle over again and again, until you have what looks like a layered block of dough. Roll the dough block into another square. Re-fold, re-roll and so on. Repeat this process about 5 times. This is what will make your pie dough more layered and flaky.
Making your filling
I made three different quick fillings based on what I had around the house. I had some green apples, some peaches and apricots and some blueberries.
Apple filling: Combine the following... 2 cups diced organic granny smith apples, 1/3 cup organic white sugar, 1 tablespoon organic flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, dash of ginger and a dash of organic vanilla extract. Cook in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water until your apples are nice and soft. Stir often as you cook. The apple filling was the BEST in my opinion. 2 apples made enough filling to fill 4 regular sized pop tarts and 3 mini tarts.
Peach + apricot filling: You can make this with just peaches if you like, but I had a couple apricots I needed to use so I added those in. Combine about 2 cups worth of diced peaches (and apricots if you like) with the following - 1/3 cup of brown sugar, BIG dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, 1/3 cup organic white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract, a few tablespoons of cornstarch. Cook everything over medium heat until everything gets all soft and blended.
NOTE: For some reason I thought it would be smart to puree my peach mixture once cooked in the blender. Next time, I'll dice the peaches and just cook them until soft. It was a little too much like jam after I pureed it.
Blueberry filling: All I did here was puree some blueberries with some white sugar. If I would have had lemons around, I'd have added a squeeze of juice too.
NOTE: The blueberry filling was a little watery. Next time, I'll cook them down in a pot vs. blend them and add a bit of flour or cornstarch to thicken it.
Assemble and bake your tarts
Grab a piece of dough and roll it out fairly thin, as if making a bottom pie crust. Cut your dough into squares or get creative and use cookie cutters to make shaped pop tarts. Add a dollop of filling, place another piece of dough on the first one. Then seal your tarts.
This is important - If you forget to seal both sides, your crusts may not stay together. So, first use a fork or your fingers to smoosh the sides together. Then turn your tarts over and repeat the process on the other side.
Poke steam vent holes in the top of each tart. Place on parchment lined pan and bake on 350 for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, allow the tarts to cool on a cooling rack a bit before frosting or eating.
You can frost these if you like - or not. They're good either way. I used a light drizzle of glaze on some of mine and just sprinkled a little organic sugar on some others. To make glaze simply mix powdered sugar with a wee bit of soy milk until you have a drizzling consistency. Add more milk or sugar as needed.
You can get fancy and pipe glaze on, but I just used a spoon and drizzled some on.
Be creative. Use strawberries, cherries, pear or any other filling you like. Cook fruit down, spice it up with seasonings (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc) then make sure to add a bit of of flour or cornstarch to thicken it. This is also a great way to use up leftover jam.
You can also use a thick chocolate sauce, brown sugar, pumpkin, a nut butter, or other good stuff inside of these tarts.
For less sweet options use the crust to make "Hot Pockets." I've made these before for dinner, but made them bigger and stuffed them with veggies and a very thick broth. You could also fill these with Italian goods, like tomato sauce and vegan cheese or broccoli and vegan cheese.