PB&J Pop Tarts

peanut butter and jelly

Pop tarts are forever a food I associate with my school friend, Alice. Her parents would buy them for us as a rare treat for weekend sleepovers when we were studying, and her excitement over a pop tart breakfast was highly contagious. I’ve created a recipe based upon that classic American combination of peanut butter and jam (or “jelly”!), and these are not for the faint of heart if you don’t have a sweet tooth – you have been warned.

The icing is optional, so feel free to leave them plain on top for a slightly less sugary version.

Makes 4 large pop tarts

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE PASTRY
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 200g soft cake and pastry flour (or plain flour)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 beaten egg, for the glaze
  • 1 tbsp milk, for the glaze
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 4 tbsp strawberry jam
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • FOR THE ICING (optional)
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp water
  • coloured sprinkles, to decorate

METHOD

FOR THE PASTRY

Cut your butter into small cubes of roughly 1cm using two knives to avoid touching it with your hands, and place it in a large mixing bowl.

Sift your flour, salt and icing sugar from a height into the bowl, to get the air into the ingredients.  Gently rub the butter into the flours using your fingertips. A light touch here is important; lift up the flour as you do this and let it fall back into the bowl to create a lighter texture for the mix. You should end up with a breadcrumb-type consistency – don’t overwork it.

Mix your egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of cold water, and sprinkle it evenly over the mixture. Use a blunt kitchen knife or palette knife to incorporate it as quickly as possible and bring the dough together. If you need more water add it gradually and sparingly – you only need enough water to bind the dough. If your ingredients look dry then add some more water, but stop before it becomes wet and tacky; you want to end up with a soft dough.

Shape your dough into a disc and wrap it in cling film. Rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Lightly flour your work surface. Roll your dough out into a large rectangle, roughly 2mm thick. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 8 rectangles of 7 x 11cm (you may need to reform some of the scraps as you go). Brush four of the rectangles with 1 scant tablespoon of peanut butter per rectangle. Brush the other four rectangles with 1 scant tablespoon of jam per rectangle, leaving a small border of 1-1.5cm for the crust around each.

Place each peanut butter half on top of a strawberry half, and use a fork to crimp the edges closed. Mix the beaten egg wash with the milk and glaze each pop tart using a pastry brush. Use a fork to prick holes in the top of each tart for the steam to escape.

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Place your pop tarts on the baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and cooked through.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing. Combine the icing sugar with the water until you have a thick but spreadable consistency. Scatter the coloured sprinkles on top while the icing is still wet, and leave to set.

Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place, for up to 3 days.