Hey, old friend! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. In the last year, my husband and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world and she has changed our lives forever. My days have been filled with all things baby and it’s been deeply gratifying, but all consuming. I’m finally taking a step back into finding creative time for myself, by way of this blog, and it’s been a difficult balancing act. My hope is to share more comforting baking recipes and exemplify to my little one how to value creativity and taking personal time to do what makes one happy. You know what makes me really happy right now? Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Homemade Pop Tarts. They’re bringing me and the husband joy on early mornings (painfully early) when we’re desperate for that first morning cup of coffee and these fruit filled beauties are baking away in the oven.
Not only are they flaky, but also incredibly tender. The strawberry rhubarb filling is an ode to all the spring produce that is about to show up in the market and the ginger adds a touch of extra flavor that compliment the sweet berries and tart rhubarb. To finish, a creamy vanilla glaze that’s silken and smooth. It sets softly, holding the colorful sprinkles in place, and stays creamy for days. It’s a great recipe to make with different types of fruit fillings and keep stashed in the freezer. Perfect for when you want a special breakfast treat or a comforting dessert. If you love flaky, tender, buttery, and fruity goodness this is it.
Helpful Tips for This Recipe
*This recipe uses a pâte brisée for the dough. It’s the French version of pie dough and it’s packed full of butter; which gives it the ultimate flaky layers. For this reason, I recommend rolling out the dough between two large pieces of parchment paper in order to spare you any frustration of dough sticking to the counter or having to add extra flour for rolling it out. If you don’t have parchment, go ahead and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface. If it becomes too soft pop it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.
*These pop tarts are very flaky and tender thanks in part to how the butter is incorporated into the flour. It’s done by using the fraisage method. A French technique of blending the fat and flour by using the heels of your hand to smear the cold butter into the dough; which creates thin streaks throughout the final dough. Finally, when baked they melt away and produce steam creating a super flaky and tender crust.
*The ginger in the strawberry rhubarb filling is on the subtle side. It’s just enough for a touch of interesting spice, but if you don’t like ginger feel free to leave it out. Or, if you absolutely love ginger then double the amount for a greater kick of gingery heat. Even more, to save on time, skip making the filling entirely and use your favorite jam instead. This is what I’ve done the majority of the time when crunched on time. The fresh spring strawberry rhubarb ginger filling is an extra special touch though.
*The final assembled pop tarts will keep in the freezer, in an airtight bag, for up to 1 month. I usually create a batch, freeze them, and then bake them from frozen for an early morning weekend treat. Build up a freezer stash of a variety of different fruit filled pop tarts and you’ll never be empty handed for a flaky treat.
Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes 12 pastries
Vanilla Cream Glaze
1 cup (140g) powdered sugar
5 tablespoons (70g) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined and smooth. Glaze can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Filling
1 large or 2 small (84g) rhubarb stalk, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (114ml) water
1 lb (454g) strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger root, finely diced
1/3 cup (69g) sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons (12g) cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons (22ml) cold water
In a medium sized saucepan, combine rhubarb and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 – 5 minutes or until rhubarb is slightly tender. Strain out water and return rhubarb to the saucepan. Add strawberries, fresh ginger root, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix to combine. Cook, over medium high heat, until berries are soft, about 3 – 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together cornstarch and cold water. Once berries are soft, stir in cornstarch mixture and boil mixture for 2 minutes; stirring throughout to prevent berries from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and pour into a shallow container to cool.
Pâte Brisée (Pie Dough)
3 1/2 cups (490g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (27g) sugar
2 teaspoons (11g) kosher salt
2 cups (4 sticks / 454g) cold unsalted butter
4 (66g) egg yolks
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons / 86g) cold whole milk
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut each stick of butter into 12 pieces. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and mix, on low, for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the butter pieces are about the size of pecans and scattered throughout the flour.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Add to the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. The dough will barely come together and be very shaggy.
Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface and lightly gather it together into a mound. Using the palm of your hand, smear the butter chunks into the dough and onto the work surface (slide your palm down and along the work surface to create thin streaks of butter). Repeat this process all throughout the dough mound until most of the butter chunks have been smeared. Using a bench scraper, scrape the work surface and gather the dough back together. Repeat the process one more time until all butter chunks have been smeared into the dough and it comes together into a cohesive dough with visible streaks of butter.
Gather up the dough, divide it in half, and press each half into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Recipe adapted from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe
Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Homemade Pop Tart Assembly
2 discs of chilled pâte brisée dough
Strawberry rhubarb ginger filling
1 egg, lightly beaten
Vanilla cream glaze
Rainbow sprinkles for sprinkling
Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator and place it between two sheets of large parchment paper (or rest the dough on a floured work surface if you don’t have parchment paper). Roll out dough into a 12 x 15 inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Place entire parchment sheet of dough onto a large baking sheet and transfer back into the refrigerator to chill (if not using parchment, carefully transfer dough onto a clean large baking sheet and place into refrigerator) . Meanwhile, repeat the rolling out process with the remaining disc of dough. Transfer this second dough sheet back into the refrigerator to chill.
Remove the first dough sheet back out of the refrigerator and set on a clean work surface. Gently pull off the top layer of parchment paper. Using a large chef knife, trim all four edges neatly and then cut dough into 3 x 4-inch rectangles. Peel dough rectangles off the bottom piece of parchment and transfer them onto a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Remove the second dough sheet from the refrigerator and repeat the cutting process. Gather together all leftover scrap dough pieces, re-roll, and cut out more rectangles.
Brush the top surface of 12 dough rectangles with the egg. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of strawberry rhubarb ginger filling, in a mound, in the center of each of the 12 rectangles. Lay the remaining dough pieces directly on top of each of the filled ones. Using your fingertips, gently press down all around the edges of each mounded rectangle so the two pieces of dough seal together. With a fork, press the tines around the edges of each rectangle to finish sealing. Transfer the entire baking sheet to the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes or until very firm. Frozen unbaked pop tarts can be stored in an airtight sealed bag for up to 1 month.
Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
Place the frozen pop tarts on a large parchment lined baking sheet, spacing about 2-inches apart. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the tops are evenly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set baking sheet on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Top each pop tart with vanilla cream glaze and sprinkles. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to allow the glaze to set before serving. Pop tarts can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.