Yikes, it’s been nearly two months since I last blogged. For three weeks of that time, I have a great excuse. We were vacationing in Argentina and Chile so I wasn’t cooking. Being out of the kitchen that long makes you aware of how much you do enjoy it – and miss it. We got back days before Christmas and time has flown by since New Years. I do have some fun catch-up to blog about because we've made a few amazing culinary creations since we've been home.
The first recipe to share is purely reminiscent of childhood, decadent, and crazy scrumptious. Connor declared it’s the best pastry he’s ever eaten. Homemade pop-tarts. Based on a Bon Appetit recipe, we first had them for Christmas breakfast. Craig made the dough and I filled them, half with homemade strawberry preserves and half with cinnamon sugar. These are so good that we made a batch again yesterday, this time with apricot filling, to take as dessert for a dinner party that we paired with homemade lavender almond ice cream (instead of eight pop-tarts, we made 16 smaller ones). Plan ahead because you have at least three hours rest time, and they are not light with two sticks of butter. But you have to splurge occasionally, and they are worth the indulgence. It's really an insult to a pastry this flaky to call it a pop-tart.
|Christmas breakfast - "pop tarts," winter fruits, individual egg bakes|
2 C plus 2 T all purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
1 t coarse kosher salt
1 t sugar
1 C (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 T ice water
12 T preserves (preferably homemade)
Variation for Cinnamon Sugar Filling (for 4 pop-tarts, reduce preserves accordingly)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
2 t all purpose flour
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 t milk
1/4 t vanilla extract
Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13x11 inches. Trim to 12x10-inch rectangle, then cut into eight 5x3-inch rectangles.
Arrange 4 rectangles, spaced apart, on each sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons preserves in row down center of each rectangle. Top preserves with second dough rectangle. Use a ravioli cutter/sealer to seal each tart. Otherwise, use your fingertips to press all edges of each tart to seal and then press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal. Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough rectangle. Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack.
For glaze, wish all ingredients together and drizzle over hot pastries.