Cranberry Pear Mini Pop-Tarts
If you follow me on Instagram or have known me for longer than ten minutes, you have probably gathered that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. God bless decent genetics and enough spare time to exercise occasionally because otherwise, I’d be in deep.
Surprisingly though, I’m a bit of a health-nut//control freak when it comes to my daughter, Aimee. It’s really important to me that she eats appropriately (even if mom cheats a little
every now and then daily), so she’s typically pretty limited on what she’s allowed to have.
Truth be told, this is in part due to me not wanting to deal with a picky eater, and even more embarrassingly, because I don’t always want to share my treats. The day she learned to say the word “cookie”, I pretty much melted and knew my days of solo cookie consuming were over. She’s a girl after my own heart.
Needless to say, Aimee has not tried a lot of the foods I really loved when I was a kid. Because my diet as a kid was often a mash-up of processed food faves, I was usually the girl you wanted to make a trade with at the lunch table… and for the record, no, the leftovers from your mom’s mystery meat with cream of whatever soup sauce was NOT a plausible trade for my pizza Lunchable. Good try, though.
One of my faves growing up was Pop-Tarts. If we’re being honest, I still probably love them, it’s just been a minute since I’ve ventured to that region of the grocery store. After becoming confident with my favorite pie crust recipe, I decided it was time to take a stab at the illusive Pop-Tart.
Homemade Pop-Tarts, or this recipe at least, is essentially a mini, personal-sized pie with DOUBLE CRUST. [Drops Mic]
Hot out of the oven, these teeny pie bites have a buttery, flaky crust, and tart fruit filling that is as diverse as it is easy to make. If you want to make strawberry filling… well, make strawberry filling! If you’re feeling blueberry and lemon… bake away! Quite often I will use stocked up preserves from the summer and spread those on to the pastry- super simple. No one will ever guess it’s just jam.
We usually have a good variety of pears at our grocery store in the winter months, so I opted to try out a pear and cranberry variety. My house smelled like a winter wonderland while these were in the oven, and I really think this flavor combination makes for a grown-up, sophisticated way of saying, “um, yes, I still love Pop-Tarts.”
Both the pastry and the filling can be made in advance and they require very little active kitchen time. In a pinch, you could always try refrigerated pie crust from the grocery store, but you have my word that the homemade route is the best way to go.
Give these tarts a try and let me know what you think! If you discover a new flavor that is next level, please fill me in.
Happy baking! Oh, and for the record… I won’t be sharing these with Aimee.
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup finely diced pear (I used Bartlett but any firm pear for baking will do)
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 5 Tbsp. ice water
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
- Combine all other ingredients and add to the pan with the butter. Stir frequently over medium heat until cranberries have burst and filling is thick and somewhat uniform, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Combine flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
- Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or fork until it is the consistency of a course meal with small, pea-sized chunks of butter throughout. Add water one tablespoon at a time, tossing gently until pastry comes together in moist clumps. Divide dough in half and pat into two round, flat disks. Wrap with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Roll out one disk of pastry on to a floured surface to 1/4" thickness. Using a 3" biscuit cutter, gently cut rounds of dough. Each Pop-Tart will require two rounds (one for top and one for bottom).
- Place one tablespoon of cooled filling on top of half of the rounds.
- Top the filled rounds with a second circle of of crust and use a fork to crimp the edges. Vent the top of each rectangle by poking the top of the pastry with a fork 2-3 times. Freeze the pop tarts on the baking sheet for at least 2 hours or up to a week.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the tarts, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and top with sifted powdered sugar or a glaze of choice.
- I used a simple powdered sugar glaze for the pop-tarts pictured, but feel free to get creative!