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Easy Homemade “Pop-tarts”: Recipe time!

It’s summertime and my kiddos are home for the summer during the days so we have been trying to add a little variety to our menu.  I sat down and asked the kids for some input on what they would like to see on the menu.  (PS. I’m not crazy, I KNEW what I’d be getting!)  Of course it was pizza, corn dogs, mac and cheese, frozen waffles and my 7 year old’s breakfast fave-Pop-Tarts.

Of course we all love pop tarts but for me, the hype definitely beats the actual taste.  I’ve been working my way through their list and trying to find healthier options.  Not always totally “healthy” but we work on being better, not perfect.

So I set out to make poptarts.  Many of the recipes called for making your own pastry, which I totally know would’ve been even healthier (or at least all my own ingredients) but it’s Saturday morning and I just don’t have time for that!  Pillsbury to the rescue!!

Let’s get started!  Beat 1 egg, set aside.  Stir together 1/2 cup of your fruit preserves with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.  Don’t skip the cornstarch (you can sub arrowroot powder if you’d like), the cornstarch hold the jam/jelly/spreadable fruit together so that it sets well.  (Side note: use whatever jam or jelly you prefer, I try to keep spreadable fruit around for our jam/jelly simply because they tend to have less sugar-just read the labels!)

Grab 2 pie crusts (make ’em if you want or buy them like I did!)  Open one up, I like to roll mine out a little thinner than they come in the package.  I laid down a piece of parchment paper to eliminate a little mess.

Next, trim the edges into a large rectangle if you need straight lines otherwise just use your pastry cutter (or pizza cutter works just a good!) and cut your crust into “pop tart” shaped pieces.  Super technical terms here as always…  After you’ve cut your pieces, distribute your jam mixture evenly (as evenly as you wish…you can see how carefully I weighed each disbursement…) on each piece.

Now carefully, I SAID CAREFULLY, move this group to the side.  Grab another piece of parchment and your other crust.  Roll it out and cut it the EXACT same way you did the first set.  Or do it like I did and eyeball it!  Now we are ready to seal the deal.  Take your beaten egg and your pastry brush, apply egg to all of the borders of the tarts.  Egg = Glue.

Match up the pieces from your second crust, seal the tarts up and make pretty fork marks along the edge if you want to.  You know, we fancy in the Smith house.

Next step: take the remaining beaten egg and brush over the entire surface.  This will make them beautifully golden brown and quite lovely.  NOW, here is a fork in the road.  If you are planning to add icing to these, they are now ready to go into the oven.  If you are not, then I usually sprinkle the egg washed pastries with a little bit of sugar.  Totally your choice!

Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Allow them to cool a little bit, really, you are going to want to grab one and take a bite but don’t.  You will likely not be able to taste anything for a week if you do.  While they are cooling, if you have decided to go with Team Icing, mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream (don’t judge me, you don’t know my LIFE!).  Mix well, add super bright purple gel food coloring if you’d like and then drizzle over pastries.  My kiddos wanted pink sprinkles too so we did!  Festive up however you choose, but post your pictures of course! 🙂

Mine don’t look nearly as pretty as those processed pastries from the box but according to my selective 7 year old, they were “the best pop tart I’ve ever had!”  And I caught my 3 year old attempting an unauthorized sneak several times during the day.  😉

Hope you enjoy these!  They are even better after they’ve cooled for a while!!