Do you ever wonder how you wound up where you are in life- the events and people and moments that have made you who you are today?
I went to college at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, and the four years I spent there were primarily focused on the tight-knit group of friends that I became apart of. There were best friends, a few who dated, sisters and brothers, and the relationships that formed in the midnights and bags of popcorn we shared somehow became deeply woven into who I was, who I am even today.
In the years that have passed since graduation, some things have changed. There’s been marriage and children, brokenness and death. People have lost touch and moved away. But despite all the change and years that separate us from our 22-year-old selves, there’s still this unmistakable bond, a realness and connection that is so tangible and electrifying that I think you could feel it if you witnessed us together even just for a second. Truly, it’s a remarkable something unlike anything I’ve ever known.
We gathered together, all of us friends with our spouses and children, at the lake this past weekend. We told the same jokes and played the same games. We shared meals together and held each other’s babies. We talked about how things used to be and made plans for the future, and for a few days, we were entirely different yet somehow exactly the same.
In the quieter moments of the weekend, I caught myself wondering what would be the sum of all the math we’ve been doing- the addition, division, and multiplication of our group that shaped who we are individually and together. The humans we’ve grown into are a product, in part, of the lessons we learned and experiences we shared during our time together, and watching my friends laugh and move and play like resurrected versions of the 20-year-olds I grew up with was a reminder that what we have is so rare and special that I’ll likely never replicate it again in my life, not even in a million years. Something about that togetherness felt almost holy, and the lump in my throat even now as I write this is proof enough that those relationships from my formative years have affected me to my core. They made so much of who I am today.
Have you experienced this before? Do you have a friendship that is so intricately tangled with who you are that you can’t tell what belongs to you or was imprinted on you by them along the way? I’m ending our lake weekend away with friends feeling like the richest girl on earth and so sure of those relationships. I know I could go anywhere, for any length of time, and I’d be carrying those people with me, leaving traces of our story like pins on a map that tell of who we are and what we became together. It’s one of the best feelings I know.
I won’t say much about these raspberry champagne pop-tarts. These mini pies are sweet and special, like a tiny celebration in a bite-sized form. With a simple fruit and booze filling and my favorite pie crust wrapped around it, these raspberry champagne pop-tarts are equal parts simple and delicious. Although the recipe for these raspberry champagne pop-tarts only yields a few, you can easily double it to feed a crowd- the perfect dessert for sharing at your upcoming summer celebrations. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Love to you all and have a great weekend!
If you like these raspberry champagne pop-tarts you should try:
Raspberry Champagne Pop-Tarts
These raspberry champagne pop-tarts have a raspberry champagne jam filling and a tender, flaky pie crust shell. A simple champagne glaze tops each one!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 180
- Yield: 9
For the pastry:
- 1–3/4 cups (210 gm) of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1–1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 gm) butter
- 1/3 cup (70 gm) shortening
- 5 tablespoons (approximately) of ice water
- 1 large egg
For the raspberry champagne jam:
- 1 cup (130 gm) fresh raspberries (or thawed from frozen)
- 1/3 cup (80 gm) champagne
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- pinch of salt
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (115 gm) powdered sugar
- 2–3 tablespoons champagne
To prepare the pastry:
- Combine flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
- Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until it is the consistency of a course meal with small, pea-sized chunks of butter throughout. Add water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, tossing gently until pastry comes together in moist clumps. Pat the dough into a round, flat disk. Wrap with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
To prepare the jam:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and stir regularly to break up the raspberries until the mixture is thick and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Spoon into a heat-safe bowl and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the jam. Allow to cool at least to room temperature.
To prepare the pop-tarts:
- Whisk an egg in a small bowl for the egg wash and set aside.
- Roll out the disk of pastry to 1/8” thickness on a floured surface. Using a 2-1/2″ biscuit cutter, gently cut rounds of dough. Each Pop-Tart will require two rounds (one for top and one for bottom). Use a pastry brush to paint the egg wash around the perimeter of half of the circles. Place one teaspoon of cooled filling in the center of the rounds with the egg wash. Top the filled rounds with a second circle of crust and use a fork to crimp the edges. Freeze the pop tarts on the baking sheet for 2 hours. Refrigerate the whisked egg in the meantime.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Vent the top of each rectangle by poking the top of the pastry with a fork 1-2 times and brush with the remaining egg wash, if desired. Bake the tarts, uncovered, for almost 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before topping with glaze.
To prepare the glaze:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of champagne until smooth. You can add an additional tablespoon of champagne if desired, but be sure to keep the glaze thick enough to stay on the pop-tart. You can test how it spreads on the back of a large spoon or try it out on a single pop-tart before you glaze all of them.