Sour Cherry “Toaster” Tarts

Homemade “Pop Tarts”


I admit it. I went through a serious Pop Tart phase. I was a child of the 60’s and 70s and when they came out with the ones with frosting it was like an event! My breakfast got better overnight. My Mom never had potato chips or soda in the house, but somehow these “pastries” passed muster. They wouldn’t’ today, at least not with me. The fruit filling is non-existent and quite artificial tasting. This version is from Kim Laidlaw’s book, Home Baked ComfortNot only are these a better version as you can control the quality of ingredients from the get-go, but she chose my favorite flavor of jam – sour cherry! Now of course you could vary that, but try her version first. Kids might like the optional sprinkles. I say, leave them out and create this sophisticated yet homey version of the original breakfast treat. If you are in the mood for something yeasty and elegant, try her Figgy Cardamom Bread.

Excerpted with permission. Home Baked Comfortby Kim Laidlaw. Published by Weldon Owen. Photos by Eric Wolfinger.

I’m a child of the 1970s, and though my mom baked fresh bread, made her own yogurt, and had a vegetable garden, there was a certain amount of junk food that my brother and I always asked for.
I loved cherry Pop-Tarts as a kid. I haven’t had one in many years, so I thought I’d create a somewhat adult version of the pastry (but don’t put these in the toaster!).

Sour Cherry “Toaster” Tarts
Makes: 12 toaster tarts
For the dough:
  • 2 cups (10 oz/315 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 10 tbsp (5 oz/155 g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup (3fl oz/80 ml) plus 2 tbsp whole milk
For the filling:
  • ¾ cup (7 ½ oz/235 g) sour cherry jam, or your favorite flavor
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp cold water
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp warm water
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp whole milk
  • 2 tsp corn syrup
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  1. To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt and process until blended. Add the butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk and milk and process until the dough just comes together. Dump the dough onto 2 large sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Press the dough into a disk, wrap with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. To make the filling, in a small saucepan, cook the jam and cornstarch mixture over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened and bubbly. Let cool.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half and form each half into a rough rectangle. Roll one rectangle until it measures about 16 by 9 inches (40 by 23 cm). Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 small rectangles, each about 3 by 4 inches (7.5 by 10 cm). Set the rectangles on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you repeat with the other piece of dough.
  4. Lay half of the rectangles on the work surface and lightly brush with the beaten egg. Dollop a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each. Spread it out on the dough, leaving a border of about 1⁄2 inch (12 mm). Top with a plain dough rectangle and press the edges together with your fingertips, being careful not to let the filling ooze out the sides. Crimp the edges with a fork. Put 6 tarts on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly, and prick the centers all over with the fork. Refrigerate while the oven preheats.
  5. Position 2 oven racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Bake the tarts, rotating the pans once halfway through, until golden brown, 15–18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla until smooth. Smear the glaze on the tarts and decorate with sprinkles, if you like.

Author’s Note:

  • You can embellish the tarts with all sorts of fancy sprinkles, or stir a little food coloring into a portion of the glaze and sling it across the top. Experiment with your favorite types of jam to re-create a Pop-Tart flavor you loved as a kid.

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