Guess what? An improved, updated version of this recipe can be found in my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats. Buy it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local indie bookstore!
By now you’ve gathered that I hold my New Year’s Eve traditions very dear. But the rituals don’t end once the last shot glass is rinsed and the first sunrise of the year peeks through the curtains, oh no.
Our little crew has established a set of cardinal rules for New Year’s Day that we take just as seriously as the party itself.
They are as follows:
- You do not put on any clothing more respectable than sweats.
- You do not cook.
- Cartons of Italian and Thai delivery are to be inhaled from a horizontal position on the couch or the air mattress inflated in the middle of the living room specifically for the occasion.
- Naps are encouraged, as is the viewing of much bad television and old movies.
- And most importantly: you do not leave the house.
Even though we know this system to be perfectly constructed to maximize our recuperative efforts, last year we did the stupidest thing imaginable and broke all of these rules by attempting to go out for brunch
It was terrible.
We put on real clothes—jeans, coats, boots—to trudge through snow and found nothing but long lines of hungover Bostonians waiting at understaffed diners.
In desperation, we walked one block further to Flour Bakery for the only thing that might salvage the morning: strawberry pop tarts.
Have you ever had a homemade pop tart?
I mean, you know it’s going to be better than those boxed leaden bricks that pass for breakfast, but this—this was ethereal. It transcended pastry.
It must have been fate that got us out of the house that day, because not only did I meet my baked good soulmate at Flour, but I also learned that a cookbook with the pop tart recipe would be published in only 10 short months.
That was nothing compared to the years I had lived without the knowledge of this pop tart! I could wait!
This year, I planned ahead by making a batch of strawberry pop tarts from the Flour Bakery cookbook while I was prepping the New Year’s Eve meal.
Those of you who love to bake should do everything in your power to get your hands on this book.
Pastry chef Joanne Chang is a visionary; she applies her exacting mind (no, seriously, she has a degree in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard) to the world of sweets and comes up with the best combinations of simple and elegant, from brown sugar popovers to “crispy magic frosting” for cupcakes.
Follow my lead and make these strawberry pop tarts a day in advance of your next sloth-a-thon.
The dough takes 4 hours to chill and, once assembled, the pastries need to bake and cool for about an hour before you can sink your teeth into them.
Though they’re beyond spectacular when nibbled warm, the tarts work extremely well as a room temperature snack to munch on while popping your third Bill Murray movie of the day into the DVD player. I’m just sayin’.
- 1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
- 1 (12-ounce) jar strawberry jam
- 1 cup (140 grams) confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
Make the dough:
- Whir the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at low speed for 5 seconds.
- Add the chilled butter cubes and mix on low speed for about a minute or until the flour starts to look clumpy. There should still be chunks of butter throughout.
- Add the milk and the two egg yolks and mix for another 30-60 seconds, until the dough just comes together. It will still be lumpy and "shaggy," as Joanne calls it.
- Mound the dough onto a clean, unfloured work surface like a Roulpat and, using the palm of your hand, smear the dough down the side of the mound to the counter. Pastry chefs call this fraisage and it's this technique of gently smushing the butter into the dough that ensures an extraordinarily flaky crust.
- Smear the entire mound, bit by bit, until the dough holds together and the butter is well-streaked throughout.
- Pat the now-solid dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Assemble and bake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk the remaining whole egg with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces.
- Roll one piece into an 11x14-inch rectangle and, using a pastry cutter, slice into as many 3 1/2 x 5 1/2-inch pieces as you can fit.
(The cookbook recipes says you'll get 8 rectangles; I could only muster 6 out of each piece of my dough, and I used an old photograph to measure each rectangle accurately.)
- Transfer the dough rectangles to the parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Brush egg wash around the edges of each rectangle and spoon 2 tablespoons of jam into the middle.
- Roll and cut the second piece of dough into rectangles.
- Use these pieces to top your pop tarts and press firmly around the edges with the tines of a fork to stick the top and bottom together.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
- While the pop tarts are cooling, make the glaze by whisking the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice together.
- Brush the cooled pop-tarts with the glaze and wait 10 more excruciating minutes for the glaze to harden before eating.
adapted from the Flour Bakery Cookbook
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 403mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.
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