Sunday, July 17, 2011

Homemade Apple Pie Pop Tarts

It's been ridiculously cold recently. I kind of love it. People tend to look at me funny when I say that I love winter, but as I've mentioned before on this blog I get super cranky in the heat and humidity of summer. I like how the air smells on those crazy cold nights. This kind of cold weather makes me crave apple pie.
There are just some desserts that I will only eat in the middle of winter. Piping hot apple pies full of delicious chunks of juicy apple goodness along with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream is one of them. It has to be flavoured with plenty of spices and wrapped up in a very short, buttery pastry.
When Lisa made us these amazing cherry pop tarts with vanilla bean glaze, I immediately put them on my must-try list of recipes and every now and then I would wistfully dream about the thin flaky pastry and that amazing glaze. This weekend I finally found the time to try out the recipe and satisfy my apple pie cravings by making these Apple Pie Pop Tarts with a Cinnamon Glaze.
I just had one for breakfast today and they are amazing. The pastry recipe is perfection, the dough is super easy to work with and handle, plus it stayed flaky and short even though I had to re-roll the scraps several times. I loved how thin I could roll the pastry so that the pop tarts were wonderfully delicate to bite into.
I went through a phase where I was having strawberry pop tarts every morning for breakfast. If it wasn't pop tarts, it was cocoa pops. It seems that I used to like starting the day off with an insane amount of sugar (I'm more of a bacon and egg type of girl these days). Pop tarts aren't as readily available in Australia, so it's great to have a recipe for a homemade version. Plus as Lisa mentioned, it's all made with real butter and no corn syrup. And it's wayyyy tastier.
The apple pie filling is quite simple. I freaked out a bit when I cooked up the apples as they released so much juice, so I added a bit of gelatin powder to the mixture but I don't think it really needed it. The mixture seems to dry out quite well in the oven thanks to the flour that is added. I tried not to add too much sugar to the filling so it is quite tangy, since the pop tart is covered with that beautiful cinnamon glaze. The apples are mixed up with a bit of cinnamon and real vanilla bean, and when you get a mouthful of the mixture, with that light pastry, the spiced glaze and a little crunch from the sugar crystal you will cry. Then you can come thank me :)
The glaze is a bit tricky to get right. If it's too runny it won't hold it's shape on the top of the mixture and will just go everywhere. I found the best way to get it right was to keep whisking in small amounts of icing sugar and then spooning it on to a tart to see how long it would take to settle, using the spoon to scoop up the stray drips. It's definitely worth investing the time to get the glaze just right, so that it has that thin layer that almost shatters as you bite into it. Just heavenly.
Apple Pie Pop Tarts with Cinnamon Glaze
(makes 8, adapted from spicy icecream's recipe)
3-4 apples, peeled and finely chopped (about 3 cups worth), I used a mixture of Granny Smith and Royal Gala but you can use any good baking apples
Juice from half a lemon
1 vanilla bean pod
1 tbsp (14g) butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp glucose syrup (optional, can be replaced with another tbsp of brown sugar)
1 tbsp flour

For the pastry:
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 large egg, for brushing the dough

For the glaze:
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Optional: granulated or raw sugar crystals

Prepare the filling first. Place butter in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat until it goes golden brown, then add chopped apple, lemon juice, brown sugar, glucose and vanilla bean (split and seeds scraped) and return to the heat. Stir regularly until apples are slightly more tender and liquid has reduced slightly, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Add flour and stir to combine, then chill while preparing the pastry.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until only pea sized lumps remain in your mixture. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and pulse until moisture is introduced to all of the flour mixture. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and knead the dough until it starts to hold together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator. On a well floured surface, roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Trim the dough into rectangles 14 x 8cm (this is why my stainless steel ruler is one of my most used kitchen utensils). Place the dough rectangles onto 2 baking trays lined with baking paper and refrigerate while you prepare the second piece of dough in the same way. Brush one set of 8 squares with a beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon 1 1/2-2 tbsp of apple filling into the center of each brushed dough square (you may want to drain some of the excess liquid from the filling first). Top with a second piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Let the tarts rest in the fridge while the oven preheats. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. While the tarts bake, whisk together the icing sugar, cinnamon and milk for the glaze and set aside. Let baked tarts rest on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing. If glaze is too runny, gradually sift more icing sugar into the mixture until it reaches the correct viscosity. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar crystals over each tart. When glaze has set, serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Best served within 2 days, warmed up for 20-30 seconds in the microwave.
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  1. hahahaha how cute!! u know i still havent had a pop tart since i got here?!

  2. These look so freaking amazing! Seriously craving right now. I had so many issues with the glaze, next time I'll definitely try your method. There will totally be a next time :)

  3. Vibrant colours! Makes me dislike this cold weather and wants Spring now!

  4. OoooOOOOoooo they look so good!!!!

    Shame I can't eat goodies like these at the moment :( :( :(

  5. Whoa, I haven't had a pop tart since... I don't even know when. Yours are stunning, totally a reason to revisit this classic.

    Love those bowls, too - we have the same ones :)

  6. Yum yum yum!! I love poptarts but like you said they're not too easy to find here. This sounds like a fantastic recipe, I cant wait to try it!

  7. They look amazing. So much better then store bought. No comparison!

  8. These look so good! What a delicious tart. I'll give them a try.

    Have a nice day.

  9. I've never eaten pop tarts before but yours make me dribble... Love your pictures, they look great!

  10. Love this! I went through a stage during high school when each day would start with Pop Tarts too =p Chocolate, strawberry and apple cinnamon were all on my rotating list, and it is perhaps fortunate that I have grown out of that phase and that they are not available in supermarkets now!

  11. I remember when we used to have pop tarts here! Recently bought some US imports but found them just way too sweet, not how I remember them growing up. These actually remind me of the McDonald's apple pie! Yummo

  12. After tasting Lisa's pop tarts I wanted more! But omg, your version is right up my alley - apples and cinnamon glaze? *dies*

  13. squee! hear that knocking at your front door? that's me. let me at em!

  14. Your baking escapades are amazing. I love what you do and your creativity! There's a shortage of pop tarts in Sydney. So glad we can have them in our own homes again :D

  15. Love the rectangular shape of your tarts! I've seen in a previous issue of Sweet Paul magazine, the same kind of tart but tinier and "on a stick" (like lollipops) : that was such a great idea and I am sure your recipe is perfect to try this! ^_^

  16. Oh my gosh...I am never eating store-bought Pop Tarts ever ever again. These look so beautiful! Gorgeous photos, too!

  17. Wow. Love the photos and I can almost imagine how good the combination of crunchy glaze, buttery pastry and tart apple is. Craving apple pie's been pretty cold here too so maybe I have an excuse...?

  18. Oh wow, youve done it again! :) I havnt had pop tarts in truly yearrrss, and im such a pastry addict that these are appealing to me massively! Your pastry does indeed look absolutely perfect, im tempted to just make and eat that by itself..beautiful post indeed and thank you for the recipe!

  19. I LOVE that there are real apple bits in there, divine. Also, do you happen to know the color paint name on your wood backround? I am looking for a color like that for my pictures. Thanks.

  20. Jennifurla - it wouldn't be the same without the apple! As I mentioned 2 posts ago, I got the background from an old wooden door that had been used as a tabletop in a warehouse for many years so I wouldn't have a clue what the paint was! Sorry!

  21. Oh, no, this is so bad for my diet! Cinnamon is my favorite pop tart flavor.

  22. delicious pies, great photos ... loves from Turkey

  23. ohhhhhh looks so good!!!!

  24. just made these and am waiting for them to cool. they are pretty easy to make seeing as they are forgiving for the slightly careless cook! can't wait to eat them

  25. kim - wow I'm super impressed you were able to whip them up so quickly after I posted them! hope you like them :)

  26. Oh my! I can't believe that we are just now finding each other! Real ingredients + tasty food = pure food euphoria! I will be testing homemade poptarts this week for sure!!! Yum, yum, yum!

  27. i think normal poptarts are so dry ( i never liked them) but homemade i can imagine they'd be really nice!

  28. aw YUM. I haven't had pop tarts in ages because I haven't been able to find them in Sydney for some reason, are they not available here? But these look great, if just a little bit on the too-much-butter side (trying to moderate my baking to half cup or less of butter per recipe cause it's not doing great things for my waistline. I suppose I could halve this!).

  29. I can't bear shop bought pop tarts - to me they taste overly sweet and sickly, with a stodgy texture, but these look absolutely delicious. What a wonderful idea.Beautiful photos as always - loving this blog!

  30. As usual, your pictures are so gorgeous and make me drool! Your pastry looks baked to perfection too. I love apple filling. Thanks for showing us!

  31. WOW! This seriously all looks so amazing!


  32. this looks sooo delicious.
    i bet you could also ground up some dried apples with a bit of powdered sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.

  33. Looks and sounds sooo delicious!!

    Btw I LOVE your Blog! <3

  34. Love, love this, Gourmet Pop Tarts, with fabulous ingredients! This really looks so good, I like the backdrop you used as well, I'm quite fond of the color teal

  35. Yes, yes, yes! I have been craving apple pie but your Pop Tarts are so much better than the bought ones, more apple, less refined stuff! Thanks for the recipe! :D

  36. OMG yummy!I must be crazy but when I see these I get a craving for Ice-cream cake

  37. I love the new design

  38. Lovely! I recently made pop-tarts, too (great minds, eh?). My photography skills are NOTHING compared to yours, but I'd love it if you checked out my recipe and offered any tips:

    I live on an old apple orchard, and will definitely be trying out this recipe once the apples (and pears!) are ready. All the best!

  39. the dainty baker - Whaat! Go have a poptart immediately! Or make them :D

    Lisa - Thank youuuu! We should make them together :D

    Joe @mydeliciousblog - Thanks! Bright colours like this always cheer me up in the winter months :)

    Blithely Unaware - Aww that's too bad :(

    Yasmeen - Haha I haven't had a store-bought one in forever! Those bowls are so cute hey :)

    Butter Hearts Sugar - Thanks! Yeah they're not easy to find and not not really worth it :(

    Maris(In Good Taste) - I agree! I think I'd be disappointed if I tried the store bought ones again!

    Velvet - Thanks

    Valerie - Thanks so much!

    mademoiselle délicieuse - Haha it wasn't just me :) It sucks they don't sell them here much! Probably better for our diets though haha

    Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! - I know what you mean, they're insanely sweet! Haha those came to mind when I was making them too, I forgot to mention that!

    K | Citrus and Candy - :D The glaze is awesome! I should have made more so I could give you some!

    chocolatesuze - I'll make you some next time we have a food partay :D

    Tina @ bitemeshowme - Aww shucks, thanks! They're so much better homemade anyway :D

    christelle is flabbergasting - Thanks...poptarts are generally rectangular :) I've seen the ones on a stick, everything is always cuter on a stick!

    Kocinera - Hahaha I'm with you on that! Thanks!

    Elly McCausland - Thanks! You totally have an excuse ;)

    The Procrastobaker - I'm a total pastry addict too, I ate wayyyy too many of these!

    Jennifurla - Of course, it's gotta have real apple or it's not apple pie :D

    Yadi I. @ShopCookMake - Haha definitely not diet friendly.

    sevde - Thanks!

    carolineb123321 - Thank you!

    HealthnutFoodie - Yay I hope you like them!

    Two fit and fun gals - I know what you mean, these are definitely not dry! But they did go a bit soggy after about 3 days :(

    Li - They're not sold in supermarkets but you can find some important at specialty lolly shops and the david jones food hall. I don't think it would be as nice without all the butter. Probably best not trying the recipe at all, or having a smaller portion of it rather than messing with the recipe!

    thelittleloaf - I know what you mean, these are totally better than the store bought ones!

    Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) - Thanks so much! Apple pie is the best :)

    Dylana Suarez - Thanks so much!

    maya - Thanks! It doesn't really need any more apple flavour :)

    Stéphanie B. - Thank you!!! <3

    myFudo - Thanks so much! I love teal too

    gummi baby - homemade is always the best! This weather always makes me crave apple pie!

    Anonymous - Haha ice cream cake? random! but I understand, I only ever want to eat ice cream in winter!

    Anonymous s- :D thanks for noticing!

    Deanna @ Silly Goose Farm - Yum, yours look fantastic! Wish I had fresh berries to work with right now

  40. Oh my gosh...these look delicious! Definitely a must-try!

  41. LOVE your blog...these pop tarts look awesome. Will be linking back to them today.

  42. Wow! I love these! What a great idea!

  43. I wonder if these would freeze well? Baked? Unbaked?

  44. Michele - Sorry I can't say for sure as I haven't tried myself! Maybe you could test it out and do half baked and half unbaked?

  45. I was a fan of Poptarts as a kid, so these were a no-brainer to try and WOW! Absolutely amazing. They great also that a little slip up doesn't ruin the recipe at all. Thank you for sharing!

  46. I made these tonight, they're in the oven now and I'm so excited for them to come out so I can try them! :D One thing I did notice though when I made them, was that there was WAY too much butter, and I had to add a fair bit of flour and stuff to balance it out - I wondered if the recipe was meant to be 125g rather than 225? Because usually in shortcrust pastry the ratio of fat to flour is 1:2. Shut me up if I'm wrong, haha! Love your blog by the way, you've inspired me to start trying to bake macarons :)

    1. No it's definitely 225. I got the pastry recipe from someone else (link in the recipe), and you can see they had 225g too. It's not a typical shortcrust pastry, it should be a very buttery, flaky pastry. Possibly you needed a bit more flour, measuring flour in cups can be notoriously inconsistent.

    2. Ah I don't know then! I'll give it another go, the pastry was nice but not particularly flaky when I changed it :) I converted it all to grams (I'm in the UK) so god knows what it was. They were absolutely delicious by the way, my boyfriend ate 3 last night! :D

  47. If I could make such a good pie, I would love the winter!

  48. Love homemade pop tarts, and yours look amazing!

  49. Made these today and they are so amazing. The downside: Sparkpeople has a Recipe calculator that allows you to enter a recipe to get the nutrition info. Each serving is 460cal/26g fat/15g sat fat!! Much worse than a store bought poptart. It's that buttery delicious crust!! I'm going to try these again with a piecrust recipe I use often that has less butter. Thanks for a great recipe!!

    1. To be honest, I wouldn't even be eating a regular poptart if I was interested in counting calories :)

  50. We featured your recipe in our Food Trend Friday blog post. Thanks so much for posting. You can check it out here:


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