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Monday, November 15, 2010

Blueberry PopTart

"They're really good, but not the hard, sugary substance that I remember."  This was Dave's quote after tasting my homemade Lemon Blueberry Pop Tarts.
"Fantastic", was my reply.

While it's fun to recreate childhood classics (like the homemade choco tacos and corn dogs), often the goal is to clean the taste up a bit; after all, who wants their food to be known as bomb-shelter proof?

These blueberry pop tarts are closer to a pie than a boxed pop tart and there's nothing wrong with that.  I made the dough slightly stiffer than my regular pie dough as pop tarts need to stand up to hand holding.

Making a homemade pop tart is just plain fun; seeing people light up when you say you made a pop tart... now that's fat and happy.

 Tip and Techniques:  Make little, bite sized, mini pop tarts for quick snakin'. Serve these warm with a scoop of ice cream for a fun birthday dessert!

Pop Tart Dough

2 cups flour
1/2 tbls sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, chilled  and cut into pieces
1 tbls Crisco
1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water
1 tbls milk
1/2 - 1 cup ice water

 Blueberry Filling (recipe below)
Lemon Filling (recipe below)
Icing (recipe below)
1 egg for brushing the tops
Turbinado sugar (optional)

This is a take on classic pie dough, so keep everything cold (bowls, utensils and ingredients.)  Toss the flour, sugar and salt together.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or use your fingers to create pea-sized pieces.  Using the edge of a rubber spatula, cut in the Crisco.

Mix the egg and milk together, cut into the dough with the rubber spatula.  Drizzle tablespoons of ice water in until the dough comes together. Depending on the day, you may need more or less water so only add in small amounts at a time.  The dough should still be somewhat crumbly, don't over moisten.

Divide the dough in two halves and tightly wrap in saran wrap.  Chill at least one hour before rolling out.

Putting the pop tart together: 
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Roll out the dough as evenly and thinly as you can get it - about 1/4" thick".  Cut the dough into desired pieces, I used a playing card as my reference for size.  Scoop a few tablespoons of the blueberry filling and then the lemon filling on the bottom piece. How much filling you use will depend on the size of your dough- use just enough filling to be able to close the dough.

Dip your finger in water and run it along the edges of that bottom piece, place the top on and press the edges together with a fork.  Poke the top with holes to release steam.   Place the pop tart on to the cookie sheet.  Keep in the freezer until ready to bake.

If the dough get too warm to work with, place in the fridge or freezer for few minutes to stiffen the dough. I made these and then froze them until I was ready to bake them.  Before baking them, brush them with egg wash to help achieve the nice browned look. Sprinkle with raw or turbinado sugar (optional).  Bake at  400 degrees until the dough has browned, about 30 minutes.

Drizzle with icing after the pop tarts have cooled.

Blueberry Filling
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup water mixed with 1 tsp of cornstarch

Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan, cook about 10 minutes until the berries are softened and the the filling has thickened.  Cool.

Lemon Filling

1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbls flour
1/4 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup milk or soy milk
1 egg
2 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbl butter

Whisk together the sugar, flour and salt in a medium sauce pan.  Turn the heat on to medium low, slowly drizzle in the milk while stirring vigorously.

Simmer until the custard begins to thicken.  Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and temper the egg with the custard. (slowly add a few scoops of the custard to the egg bowl to warm the egg and prevent the egg from cooking to a scramble.)  Now add the egg to the saucepan. 

Continue to cook and stir until the custard is thick, a few minutes.  Remove from heat, whisk in the lemon juice, vanilla and the butter until smooth.  Pour the custard into a bowl, place plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to avoid a skim from forming; place in the refrigerator until cooled.

1/4 cup milk or soy milk
1 1/2 cups powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whisk together the milk, vanilla and 1 cup of powder sugar until smooth. Add in more powder sugar to obtain desired consistency.

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