As recently-graduated, oh-so-busy and financially growing yuppies, we can sometimes regress back to our college diets with cheap, imperishable highly processed foods inundated with so bad but so good high-fructose corn syrup and covered in frosting. You know the one I’m talking about… those cardboard-textured, but somehow delicious breakfasts-on-the-go…Pop-Tarts.I recently had a hankering for these dangerous delights, but as an aspiring healthy adult and one who’s genetics are predisposed to diabetes I somehow controlled my urge to run literally next door to my grocer for a $2 fix, and instead looked up a recipe for the healthier homemade alternative.I found this delicious recipe on smittenkitchen.com, then substituted wheat flour and a real fruit filling that doesn’t involve pectin and can be made quickly, and voila: Healthy, French-style flaky homemade Pop-Tart impostors, which I shall call “Toaster Pastries” to avoid some sort of legal struggle with Kellogg’s…
- Follow Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for pastry dough, but substitute unbleached whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour and add another tablespoon of milk, or a dab of cream, to make up for the added dryness.
- You can also substitute just half or less of the flour with whole wheat if you’re not much of a whole wheat fan but still want some additional nutrients and flavor.
- After preparing the dough, split it in half, form each half into a cube shape, plastic-wrap them and refrigerate for two hours (or freeze for 10 minutes if you’re lazy and impatient like me).
- De-stem and de-seed, rinse and puree 2 cups of your chosen fruit with 2 tablespoons of honey or agave and 3 tablespoons of water. I halved this to create two fillings, blueberries and black cherries.
- Bring fruit mixture(s) to a boil on the stove top. Add 2 tablespoons of flour (or 1 each if you have two fillings) to thicken, and boil another 3-5 minutes or until mixture bubbles and looks syrupy.
Assembling your “Toaster Pastries” (the tricky part)
- Flour a rolling pin and surface and roll dough out to about 2mm thickness (thin enough to be flexible, thick enough to be sturdy).
- Cut dough into rectangles of your size choice. Mine were about 3 inches high and 2 inches wide. Make sure all of your rectangles are at least roughly the same dimensions…as you can see from my picture, doing this without a ruler may result in slightly wonky appearance.
- Place one layer of your dough squares on a greased baking sheet about an inch apart on all sides.
- Beat one egg and brush egg mixture onto this bottom layer of rectangles (for “sealing”).
- Spread your fruit filling in the middle of each rectangle, enough to cover all but the outer edge of each rectangle with a half-cm-thick filling. For my 3”x2” rectangles, this was about a tablespoon.
- Cover each rectangle with a new, non-eggy rectangle.
- Use a fork to seal around the edges by pressing the layers together gently with the tines. I found it was best to flour the fork periodically to do this without ripping the dough.
- Use the fork or another pointy object to poke at least 5 – 10 holes in the middle of each assembled pastry, to allow them to cook properly.
- Repeat until all pastries are assembled
Baking and Serving
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until light brown.
- Eat warm and with a snooty sense of superiority.
- Freeze excess baked “toaster pastries” to have a quick delicious breakfast available for months to come.