I have an embarrassing confession to make. I love preservatives. Ughhhh, please don't start yelling. I know they have a bad rep, and are probably the cause for everything that is wrong in the world. But they are in so many things I love: frozen toaster strudels, fake hand pies, and, you guessed it, pop-tarts. These horrible, yet delicious, preservatives have haunted me. I used to hear them calling out to me as I would walk through the aisles of a grocery store.
I hate to admit it, but there once was a blissful moment in time when I was ignorant on what was actually going on in my beloved breakfast pastries. Now however, I can't bring my self to eat anything that has ingredients I can't pronounce. 'From Scratch' is the name of the game, and, since I can't resist eating breakfast pastries, I just take the time to make them myself. Here is a simple recipe for handmade pop-tarts with just an innocent amount of mysteriously bright toppings.
serving size: makes 10 hand pies
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6-8 tablespoons ice cold water
- 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- add in some food coloring for color
Start the crust: First cut up your butter into little cubes, and place in fridge to keep cool. Mix together the dry ingredients.
2.) Pastry blend the butter into the flour. Or you can always pretend you're a crab, and just use your fingers as pincers (sometimes it's just more fun). When it looks like pea sized bits of butter and flour you can begin adding the cold water, stirring well with a fork after each addition. When you grab a handful of the mixture and it holds its form, it is done.
3.) Dump the mixture onto the counter. Don't worry if some of it is still crumbly. It should be; It is what completes the secret method to a flaky crust. First make a big butter-flour-mixture pyramid, and then, using your the palms of your hands, push down from the top until flat. Pull the crumbly bits around the side back up into a pyramid and repeat at least four times.
4.) You should now have a pretty solid dough form. Cut in half, wrap in plastic, and place in fridge to cool. Give it a half an hour to thaw.
Start the filling: Combine blueberries, sugar, butter, lemon zest, and juice together in small pan, and place over med-high heat. Stir gently to combine. Mix together the water and cornstarch, pour into pan (this will help thicken the filling). Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
1.) Roll out the dough, and slice into rectangles, placing a spoonful of blueberry filling in the middle of each one. Cover with dough, and crimp the edges with a fork. Poke holes into the tops, and then pop into a 375°F oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool, and then top with a food colored frosting and sprinkles.