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How to Make Homemade Pop Tarts

By Molly Durham in Food on Mar 8, 2012 5:00PM

To us, the phrase "once you pop you just can't stop" should really refer to Pop Tarts instead of Pringles. Whether you like frosting or no-frosting, cinnamon sugar or strawberry, or go for the dessert flavors like s'mores, it seems like there's a Pop Tart for everyone.

Homemade Pop Tarts are nothing new. Plenty of restaurants around Chicago offer them. 2Sparrows makes their own, offering one with foie gras and cherry compote and one with apricot with lemon thyme icing. Southport Grocery and Cafe has a "grown-up pop tart" with local fruit preserves, mascarpone & roasted vanilla walnuts.

By making your own, you can get it exactly how you want it. Switch in whole wheat flour (same amount) for a heartier dough, or make your own filling concoction with different fruits and flavors. As it is, this recipe is a great way to use up your leftover cans of pumpkin from last fall.

Homemade Pop Tart Recipe (makes about 20 tarts)



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)


3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers (our preferred method, since it's way more fun) or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together pretty well. Then whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until just combined.

In a small sauce pan, heat the pumpkin puree and spices over medium heat, until you can start to smell the mixture. Remove from heat and place the mixture in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in egg, salt and sugar and place in the fridge.

Divide the dough into two balls. You can cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day if you want. If doing this, take dough out of fridge and wait about 20-30 minutes before trying to roll out. Roll out each piece of dough to about 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Trim sides to make an even rectangle, then cut dough into 3" x 4" rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of one set of dough rectangles. This will be the inside of the tart, with the egg helping hold it together. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, making sure to keep it about a half inch from the edges. Place a second rectangle of dough on top of the first, then use your fingertips to press firmly around the edges to seal. Press a fork down on the edges of all the tarts, and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork to let steam escape. Place the pans in the fridge for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 18-22 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.