On a rainy morning in Washington D.C. a couple of weeks ago, I had one of those memorable food experiences–the perfect setting (bar window seats looking out to 14th street, the girls by my side) combined with the perfect pastry–Ted Bulletin’s famous pop tart (so many IG readers told me I had to try it!). It was insanely delicious–so memorable that I wanted to try and recreate a version of it, so last weekend we took a shot and made a fall version–the caramel apple pop tart.
I’ve seen more elaborate pop tart recipes that layer dough, but I wanted something simple and quick so I used my mom’s pie crust recipe because it never fails me. We filled our dough with apples and cinnamon, spooned a little powdered sugar glaze over it and then, once set, drizzled caramel on the top. They were quick and easy to make–the perfect weekend treat, and everyone loved them.
Preheat Oven to 375° F. Recipe makes 4-6 pop tarts, depending on how big you make them.
Pop tart Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk
Pop tart Filling
3 large apples
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
I’ve made my mom’s pastry dough so many times, I could mix it in my sleep. Pour the flour and salt in the bowl first, add the shortening, and then thoroughly fork the shortening into the flour until the dough looks like little peas. Slowly add the milk, folding it into the dough with the fork to mix. I always take over with my hands to get it thoroughly mixed, making a big dough ball. For a flakier pop tart, chill the dough first, and then transfer the dough ball to a floured surface. I don’t know if the next step matters, but I follow my mom’s dough voodoo to a T, so here’s how it goes: you punch the dough once and then talk to it like you’re its mother. Tell it what to do and “show it who’s boss,” as my mom says. Then roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Dash was getting a little frustrated that the dough wasn’t doing what he wanted it to do, so Brett came in with Bones to avoid a meltdown. His little smile.
Cut the dough into rectangles (ours were about 4 inches long, but you can make them whatever size you’d like). Brush a little beaten egg with milk to the top of the bottom layer if you want to ensure the filling sticks.
For the filling, peel and chop the apples into small pieces and add cinnamon, sugar and a little lemon juice.
Scoop a small spoonful of filling onto one rectangle and cover it with another dough rectangle.
Seal the pop tart by forking the edges together, and cut a little “x” on the top for venting.
We greased a sheet of aluminum foil on top of a cookie sheet to avoid a messy pan, but next time I make them, I’m skipping the foil because I didn’t grease it very well, and a couple pop tarts were hard to pull away from the foil after they baked.
Bake pop tarts at 375° F for 20-25 minutes or until golden (check them closely toward the end).
Pull tarts out of the oven and let them cool 5-10 minutes before removing them from cookie sheet. In a bowl, mix a little powdered sugar with milk and vanilla (I never measure this) to desired thickness to make your pop tart glaze. When tarts are cool, spread glaze on top. Unwrap caramels and place in microwave-safe bowl with 1/2 tsp water. Microwave in 20 second increments until melted and stir. When glaze is set, drizzle caramel over the tart. The kids loved the caramel glaze, but I think I would have loved it with just a little cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over the top.
Either way, the finished product was delicious and initiated our fall baking season.
Happy Weekending, Friends!