Strawberry fig pop-tarts. Does your inner kid just squeal with delight? POP-TARTS, okay? Pop-tarts for grown-ups- finally!
In college, my friends used to joke that I had a tape worm. Now, to be fair, I’ve never had a tape worm, but it’s my understanding that such creatures are not a joking matter. To be clear, if you currently have a tape worm, you also have my sincerest apologies. Truly.
The point is, I used to be able to eat like I was eating for five. Food would enter my body with zero care in my mind as to where it would go next. Dessert? Duh. Seconds? Of course, thank you for offering. I had an insatiable appetite, a voracity for food and the act of dining, but as luck and genetics would have it, you wouldn’t know it by looking at me. At my largest, I had decent curves and an enviable rack, so I typically ate without a care on the regular.
Today, status post a couple of kids and two months away from entering a new decade of life, I have a different understanding with my body. The understanding is that if I eat, I will be filled. If I eat more than I burn, I will gain weight. If I eat an extra helping of dessert every day this week, I will likely have a muffin top in my loosest jeans next week. My butter intake is directly related to the amount of cottage cheese that I will sport on my hind parts next summer, so I have to exercise self-control at times. That includes busting it at the gym, taking the stairs, and passing on seconds most days of the week. My rubber band waistline is not what it used to be, so I have to work hard if I want to keep my current wardrobe around.
Unfortunately, my desire for food has not changed. I dream about lunch at breakfast and cheat on my dinner with thoughts of dessert. I’m the girl who eats the gooey cheesy parts off their kids’ sandwiches and finishes their milkshake just in time to drink their husband’s. I’m not above eating French fries out of a greasy paper bag and a brownie “a la mode” is always an “a la HECK YES!” While I should maybe have some degree of embarrassment or cause for concern (after all, I am a dietitian!?!), food is just apart of who I am now. I love to make it, I love to eat it. I enjoy the beauty of God’s creation with every bite of macerated berry, shaved truffle, and caramelized shallot that enters my gullet, so while I work hard on the backend to keep my, um, backend looking good, the truth remains that I’m really just here for the food.
Like these strawberry fig pop-tarts. A guilty pleasure indeed, but one that evokes a lot of the playful, childlike memories that I have of food: begging my mom to buy pop-tarts, but settling for toast instead; lusting after that 75-cent, foil-wrapped treat in the vending machine at school when all I had to spend was a quarter. Pop-tarts are a treat that now, as an adult, I don’t make room for in my diet, but when I get the chance to make some of my own, I don’t pass it up.
This recipe for strawberry fig pop-tarts is fantastic for two reasons. First, the filling is an easy peasy strawberry fig preserve that I love to make. Every year, I pick figs and quadruple the recipe so that I can preserve the fruit to enjoy all year round. The second reason you need these strawberry fig pop-tarts in your life is because the crust on these babies is really nothing more than my all-time favorite pie crust. So basically, when you eat these pop-tarts, you’re really getting pie with an extra helping of crust. YA WELCOME.
To make these strawberry fig pop-tarts, we start by making the preserves. Add some sugar to a pot of chopped or mashed fresh figs and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add a few scoops of strawberry gelatin (I told you this was the easiest recipe) and cook for a few minutes until thick and bubbly. Let the preserves cool in the fridge while you make your crust.
Add some flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse in some butter and shortening until pea-sized clumps form. The butter adds the flavor and the shortening adds the flake, so trust when I say that this is a crust worth writing home about. Add some ice cold water to the flour until it begins to form a dough. Divide the mixture in half, patting it into flat disks, and allow to chill in the fridge for a few hours.
Assembly for these strawberry fig pop-tarts can happen up to a week in advance. Roll out your dough on a floured surface and use a biscuit cutter to cut out the tops and bottoms of your dough. Spoon a bit of preserves on half of the rounds and use a fork to crimp the tops on to each one. Place the pop-tarts in the freezer to set up properly before baking.
Fresh from the oven, these pop-tarts can be messy, but doesn’t that make it taste better anyways? Allow the little pies to cool before adorning them with a spoon of glazed icing. I tossed on some sprinkles too because YOLO, right?
These strawberry fig pop-tarts are incredibly fun and delicious, likely the spunkiest dessert you’ll eat all year. Make these little buddies before the summer is up and don’t forget to just enjoy food from time to time. Be sure to check out my nomination for the “Best Baking and Sweets” category of the SAVEUR Blog Awards. You can vote as many times as you want from now until September 8 by heading to the link in the sidebar of my site. I’ll be popping in this weekend with another treat because I luh you guyz, so happy Monday and have a great week!
If you like these strawberry fig pop-tarts, be sure to check out:
Strawberry Fig Pop-Tarts
Mini strawberry fig pop-tarts are made with buttery pie crust and homemade preserves, topped with a simple sugar glaze.
- Prep Time: 45
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12
For the pastry:
- 2 1/4 cups (290 gm) of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 gm) butter
- 1/2 cup (113 gm) shortening
- 5 tablespoons ice water
For the strawberry fig preserves:
- 2 cups figs (about 1 pound before stemmed), stemmed and quartered/ mashed
- 1–1/2 cups (300 gm) sugar
- 1–1/2 ounces of strawberry gelatin ( like Jell-O)
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (125 gm) powdered sugar
- 2–3 teaspoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- food coloring, if desired
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. Divide dough in half and pat into two round, flat disks. Wrap with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
To prepare the strawberry fig preserves:
- Add the figs and sugar to a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Mash and stir often until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined. Add the gelatin and bring to a boil, stirring frequently while the mixture cooks for about 7-8 minutes. Mash the figs more if you’d like and then pour the contents into a large canning jar or heat-proof container. Store in the fridge to cool.
To prepare the pop-tarts
- Roll out one disk of pastry to ¼” thickness on a floured surface. 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 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 before topping with glaze.
To prepare the glaze:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of milk, and vanilla. Add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. You want the glaze to be fairly thick but still pourable. Add food coloring if desired. Once pop-tarts have cooled completely, top each pastry with a bit of glaze and allow to set.
- If you’d like, feel free to can these preserves! You can triple (or even quadruple!) the recipe and process several batches of cans. See the Ball website (freshpreserving.com) for more help on preserving
- You will have extra preserves. Save them in an air-tight container in the fridge!