What’s better than a Pop Tart? A Giant Strawberry Pop Tart made completely from scratch! Two all-butter crusts hold homemade strawberry jam inside.
As a Pop Tart eater and enthusiast, I have to say this was a fun little baking project. I think most people are familiar with Pop Tarts, but for the uninitiated, here’s the gist. Pop Tarts are rectangular pastries with biscuit-like crust, sweet filling, and a thin coat of icing on top. Kellogg’s released them all the way back in 1963 and changed the pace of breakfast from leisurely, to grab-and-go.
This scratch-made version is super-sized! It’s made of an all-butter pie crust, homemade strawberry jam, and sweet confectioners’ glaze. Add some sprinkles and you’ve got a homemade version of an American classic!
First, make the all-butter pie crusts. I usually make my pie crusts in a food processor because it’s super quick and easy. All of the ingredients for a double crust will easily fit in a medium-sized food processor bowl.
Roll out each crust with a rolling pin and trim to 13×9 inches. If you have a 13×9-inch sheet pan you can lay it on top of a crust and use it as a cutting guide. I used a 13×9 inch pre-cut parchment sheet. I keep these on hand because I use this size sheet pan constantly. And having those parchment sheets ready to hand is a real time-saver. Layer the crusts between parchment and place on a baking sheet. Transfer them to the refrigerator to chill while you work on the homemade strawberry jam.
Simple is best.
This strawberry jam recipe is little more than quartered strawberries, sugar, a touch of corn starch to thicken, and a squeeze of lemon. Cook all this down to a jam-like consistency, which may take up to 10-15 minutes, depending on how juicy your berries are.
Look for a thickened, syrupy consistency with some larger pieces of berries that have cooked down and lost their shape. When you see this, you’ll know the jam is properly cooked.
Transfer the jam to a shallow dish to speed cooling. The jam will be screaming hot just off the stove top, so let it cool about 10 minutes in the saucepan. Then transfer it to the dish, spread evenly and refrigerate until completely cooled. When the jam is cooled, you should be thick enough to hold in a spoon.
Spread the jam all over one of the chilled pie crusts to about 1.5″ inches from the crust’s edge.
Seal it up!
Apply egg wash to the 1.5 inch border and top with a second crust. This is like adhesive to keep your Pop Tart together as it bakes. Now, you can crimp the edges with a fork to seal in all that lovely jammy goodness.
Here is another important step. Dock the top crust with a fork, all over. This helps steam escape during baking. The tart will puff up in the center while baking, and if there’s no outlet for the steam to escape, then it will burst open.
The crust will form little fault lines during baking – this is normal. The pop tart puffs up like a pillow, and naturally stretches a little. When you take it out of the oven, it will deflate to a more flattened, pop tart shape.
A simple confectioners’ glaze adds that extra bit of sweetness, and the finishing touch – the most important garnish of all…
Sprinkles! This Giant Strawberry Pop Tart definitely puts child-like happiness in my heart and a big smile on my face. And boy, is it ever tasty! It didn’t even last a day. The slices are like hand pies. Because they are easy to pick up, you can easily snag a slice on a paper towel and eat it on the go.
Even though I will always hold a deep love for store-bought, ready-made Pop Tarts, I must say this is an improvement. I would describe the original Pop Tart crust as – a little tough. (But of course it is! It has to hold up to worldwide shipping and handling!)
This homemade pop tart is sturdy enough to hold in your hand, yet tender and so buttery. The homemade strawberry jam tastes of summer to me. The glaze is creamy and soft, not at all like the original’s hard royal icing coating. One Giant Strawberry Pop Tart will feed a crowd, or you can simply have breakfast made ahead for the week.
Giant Strawberry Pop Tart
- Pastry brush
- parchment paper
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold
- 6-8 tablespoons ice cold water
- 2 cups quartered fresh strawberries or frozen berries, thawed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice squeezed from fresh lemon quarter
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine grain sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
Glaze and garnish
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk plus more to thin if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Cut the butter into tablespoon pieces and add half on top of the flour mixture. Pulse 5-6 times and add the remaining butter. Pulse in short bursts until pea-sized pieces are scattered throughout the flour. Add ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time through the feed tube while processing in short bursts. Keep pulsing until a shaggy ball is formed to one side of the bowl.
- Turn out the dough and shape into a ball. Cut in half. Roll each piece of dough on a piece of floured parchment paper to about 14×10 inches. Trim each piece to 13×9 inches using a large chef’s knife. Stack the dough between parchment paper and transfer on a baking sheet to the refrigerator. Chill while you make the strawberry filling.
- Place the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until the berries give off their juices and start to lose their shape. Keep stirring until some of the liquid is cooked off and the mixture is slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes (the time depends on how juicy your berries are). The berries should be almost translucent.
- In a small cup, stir the cornstarch into the water. Immediately add the mixture to the berries while whisking constantly. Cook an addition 1-2 minutes, or until mixture further thickness. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Remove from the stove top and let cool 10 minutes. Pour into a shallow dish and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Beat the egg and the water together in a small bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator. Place one on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the crust with the cooled strawberry jam within 1 1/2 inches of the edge. Brush the edge of the pastry with the egg wash. Top with the second pie crust, lining up the edges evenly.
- Use a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry. Use the fork tines to poke holes all over the top crust. Lightly brush the entire surface of the pastry with the egg wash.
- Bake the pastry for 20 minutes. The pop tart will puff up like a pillow as it bakes. Remove the pastry from the oven and allow it to deflate. Preheat the broiler. Place the pop tart under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown. The pastry may puff up a little while under the broiler.
- Allow the pastry to cool on the pan 5 minutes, then slide it onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you’re serving the pop tart on the pan you can let it cool completely on the pan.
Glaze and garnish
- Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Add additional milk, if needed thin the mixture. It should be thick and opaque yet still pourable. Pour the mixture on top of the cooled pop tart. Top with rainbow sprinkles. Allow the glaze to crust, about 5 minutes.
- To serve, cut into 12 squares (more or less to suit your appetite!).