Recipe: Strawberry Pop Tarts

June 9th, 2021

Brought to you by America's Test Kitchen!

Strawberry Pop Tarts

Did you know the classic brand of these frosted hand pies – Pop Tarts – are more than 50 years old? The original Pop Tarts’ claim to fame was that they contained fruit filling but did not have to be refrigerated. When they first hit supermarket shelves, there were no frosted varieties. It took a few years for the company to develop a frosting that could withstand the heat of the toaster. If you want frosted treats at home, you can make your own icing on these strawberry pop tarts.

Strawberry Pop Tarts

Makes 8 pop tarts

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, chilled
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for counter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Single tablespoon cold water

1. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and egg. Set aside. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Process for 3 seconds. Sprinkle chilled butter over the flour mixture. Pulse until only pea-size pieces of butter remain, about 10 1-second pulses.

2. Add sour cream mixture. Pulse until just combined, about 10 1-second pulses. Process until the dough forms a ball, 10 to 15 seconds.

3. Sprinkle the counter lightly with extra flour. Transfer the dough to the floured counter and press together into ball. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in half. Form each piece of dough into a 3-by-5-inch rectangle. Wrap each rectangle tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour.

4. While dough chills, make the filling. In a small microwave-safe bowl, whisk together jam, cornstarch and water. Heat in the microwave until the mixture begins to form small bubbles, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave (bowl will be hot). Whisk the mixture until well combined. Set aside to cool.

5. Assemble the pop tarts: Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter to soften slightly before rolling, about 10 minutes. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Sprinkle the counter lightly with extra flour. Use a rolling pin to roll 1 piece of dough into a 12.5-by-9.5-inch rectangle on the floured counter.

7. Use a bench scraper to cut off the edges of the dough to form a tidy 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 8 3-by-4.5-inch rectangles. Place the rectangles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (These will be the bottoms of your pop tarts.) Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill while the rolling second piece of dough.

8. Repeat rolling and cutting with the second piece of dough. Use a fork to poke 2 rows of holes in each rectangle. (These will be the tops of your pop tarts.)

9. Remove the baking sheet with the bottoms from the refrigerator. Use a measuring spoon to place 1 level tablespoon of the cooled jam mixture in the center of each bottom rectangle on the baking sheet. Dip your finger in water and lightly moisten the edges of each rectangle.

10. Place 1 top rectangle onto each bottom rectangle, making sure all edges are lined up. Firmly press the top and bottom edges of the rectangles together to seal. Use a fork to press sealed edges together to crimp dough. Place the baking sheet with the shaped pop tarts in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

11. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the pop tart edges are just beginning to brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the pop tarts cool on the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes. Serve.

To make icing:

1. In a small bowl, whisk 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon softened cream cheese until smooth.

2. Spread 1 teaspoon of icing onto each cooled pop tart. You can also add sprinkles for fun!

Recipe notes

Pop tarts can be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to two days. Unfrosted pop tarts can be reheated in a toaster on the lowest setting for 1 to 2 minutes.

Frosted pop tarts can be reheated in a toaster oven on the lowest setting for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not reheat frosted pop tarts in an upright toaster, as frosting may melt.

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