Remember how good poptarts tasted when you were a kid? Tried one recently? The memories taste better, don't they? The solution; make your own, and pop them in the toaster to heat them up before serving them.
This dough recipe can be doubled to make a bunch and the baked toastries can be frozen so that you have a fresh supply. While I have included a recipe for a homemade apple-pear filling, feel free to use whatever fruit filling you like. Simply cook the fruit to a jam like consistency and substitute it for the apple-pear sauce. If you are really pressed for time, use purchased jam or preserves (but not jelly since it is too thin when melted) and add the flour to get the same texture typically found in poptarts. —janeofmanytrade
8-10 large toastries
unbleached all purpose flour
unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
apple-pear filling, recipe follows
egg wash made from 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
Place the flour into the bowl of a large food processor with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse the machine to combine the dry ingredients. Separate the cubes of butter and spread them over the top of the flour mix in the processor bowl. Pulse the machine to cut the butter in until it is in small, peppercorn sized pieces. Add the eggs and 4 tablespoons of the buttermilk and pulse the machine so that the dough begins to come together on the blade. At this point, feel the dough with your fingertips. If it is dry and crumbly, continue to add the buttermilk, a tablespoon at a time to form a soft but not wet, sticky dough. It should form a ball on the blade and not be smeared on the sides of the bowl. Scrape out the dough, form a thick slab and wrap it in plastic. Chill for at least an hour and up to two days.
While the dough chills, make your filling by either using a purchased jam or by cooking the fruit according to the recipe that follows. If it is freshly cooked, it will need to be completely cooled before using.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line baking trays with parchment or silpats. Cut the dough in half and work with half at a time keeping the remainder of the dough chilled as you work. Roll the dough out to 1/8" thick. Use plenty of flour, you can brush it off after cutting the toastries out. This dough will toughen as it is rolled repeatedly so try to work efficiently. Roll the dough into rectangles that are a little over 6" wide to prevent excessive scraps. Cut the dough into 4"x6" rectangles, brush off the flour and carefully transfer 8 of them to the prepared pans. Reroll the scraps and cut out 8 tops. Place these on a separate pan until needed. If you have enough scraps, roll out more bottoms and tops.
Brush around the edges of the bottoms with the egg wash. Place about 4-5 teaspoons of filling into the center of the toastrie and spread it out leaving a 1/4 margin around the edges. Cover the filling with a top piece and lightly press the edges with your finger tip. Go over the edges with the tines of a fork to seal them and then poke a few rows of holes with the tines across the top of the toastrie. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar or sanding sugar if desired.
Bake until golden around the edges, about 20-25 minutes. Allow them to cool on the pans. Wrap each one tightly in plastic and freeze those that you cannot eat in a day or two.
Quarter the apples and pears, remove the cores and stems but leave the skins on. Cut the pieces into smaller chunks and place them into a sauce pot with the cinnamon sticks, ginger slices, star anise and cloves. Add a few tablespoons of water to start things off and cook the mixture until the apples and pears fall apart.
Pick out the spices and press the fruit through a food mill or a mesh strainer to remove the skins. Cool the mixture completely. Makes about 1 1/2 cups but you only need 3/4 cup for the recipe, save the rest for something else-or eat it while nobody is looking...
Measure out 3/4 cup of puree, whisk it with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the cinnamon. Taste the mixture for sweetness and add the remaining sugar if you like. Whisk in the flour and use to fill the toastries. You can also use any other unsweetened, cooked fruit puree by substituting it for the apple-pear sauce. To use a purchased jam, increase the amount to 1 cup, omit the added sugar and whisk in the flour.