Pie Tarts

2013-08-19
Grape jelly, cornstarch, and a little bit of water are cooked together to tighten up jelly and prevent it from leaking through the seams.
  • Yield : 12 tarts
  • Prep Time : 1:30 h
  • Cook Time : 25m
  • Ready In : 1:55 h

Poptarts, just about every kid’s favorite. Any flavor. Any time. Poptarts aren’t just a breakfast treat, they are an anytime treat. In fact, once, I resigned a job and due to my love of Poptarts as a break and lunch treat, the office gave me a case as a going away present. Strawberry is still my favorite flavor except now I make my own. Pie Tarts I call them.
Delicious moist pastry full of whole grain goodness. Strawberry flavor straight from the garden since I can use my own jam. Of course, I wondered about my old love, Poptarts. Haven’t we all thought back on bygone loves? I was bad. Bought a pack and took a bite. Indulged or so I thought. How disappointing. Exactly what my girlfriend told me long ago, “Much better to dream it. Dreams many times are better than reality.” Yes. And so it goes for Poptarts. They were dry, overly sweet, quite boring. I’ll stick with my new passion, Pie Tarts.

PIE TARTS

Ingredients

  • Jam Filling: 1 TB cornstarch 1 TB water ¾ cup no sugar added strawberry jam, grape jelly, apple butter, any fruit spread you like (homemade jam works well too) Dough: 1 cup all purpose flour ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour, or a soft whole wheat flour (or use a ½ cup all purpose flour) ½ cup rye flour, oat flour, or rice flour (or use a ½ cup all purpose flour) 1 TB sugar 1 tsp salt 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, Earth Balance buttery sticks, or vegetable shortening, cut into cubes 1 large egg or the equivalent in egg substitute 2 TB milk or non dairy product like coconut milk

Method

Step 1

Preparation: Start by preparing the filling. Strawberry: Stir together cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Stir in strawberry jam. Place over medium high heat. Stir occasionally while mixture heats. When mixture turns from milky to clear, it is ready. Remove from heat and cool completely before using. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Step 2

Prepare dough by pulsing all purpose flour, pastry flour, and rye flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor bowl to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse until pea size lumps form. Add egg and milk. Pulse just until a dough ball forms. Divide dough in half, form into rectangles, either refrigerate until later or roll out immediately.

Step 3

Roll out one disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 9” x 13” rectangle (roll slightly larger so it can be trimmed to a perfect 9” x 13”). Discard top sheet of parchment. Using a clean ruler, score the surface of dough with the back side of a knife into 9 3-1/4” x 3-1/4” rectangles.

Step 4

Gently spread a tablespoon of jam in the center of the rectangles. Be careful not to spread out too far. The weight of the top pastry sheet will mash it down even more.

Step 5

Roll out the second disk between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 1/8” thickness and a 9” x 13” rectangle following the directions for making the first one. Take off the top sheet of parchment and gently lay the dough over the first sheet. Remove the remaining parchment paper. Carefully press along each jam pocket to firmly seal dough. Cut through the dough (pizza cutter works great) to create 9 tarts. Press firmly around cut edges to seal. Then to further seal and add a decorative touch, use a fork to press (hard) around edges.

Step 6

Slide a cookie sheet under the parchment paper that the tarts are on. Using a fork, prick the tarts many times so the steam can escape. Be sure to prick a lot so they stay flat instead of puffing up and becoming misshapen. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour, uncovered, so everything can chill.

Step 7

Once pastries have chilled, remove from refrigerator and place cookie sheet into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a light golden brown. Watch carefully after 15 minutes so they don’t get too brown. Cool on the pan then store in an air tight container or wrap individually and freeze.

NOTE: I forgot to add the cornstarch to the jam when I first tested this recipe. It worked fine without the cornstarch; however, it leaked through a tiny bit at the seams. The cornstarch thickens up the jam, jelly, or fruit butter so it stays put. If the mixture seems impossibly thick as it did with my Smuckers grape jelly mixture, just stir in a tiny bit of jelly to loosen it up.
Rye flour has an enzyme that retains moisture; therefore, keeping baked goods from going stale as quickly. Small quantities of rye flour blend with the baked item and do not have the distinctive rye taste.
Can be formed and frozen. Bake as directed straight from freezer.
If you opted to make dough and refrigerate until later, remove dough and let it soften to make it easier to roll out, about 20-30 minutes.

EASY: If you like the idea of this recipe but do not want to measure and cut each tart, do the easy trick of rolling out the bottom pastry then spreading the filling to within 1” of all edges. Roll out second pastry and place on top of filling. Press and seal all around the outside with a fork. Prick all over the top with a fork. It will look like one giant pie tart. Bake as directed above. As soon as you pull it from the oven. Lightly cut the top into 12 squares. Cool to room temperature and cut all the way through into individual pie tarts. Wrap individually and freeze or store in an air tight container.

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