Pop tarts are hand pies made with a pastry crust, a fruit or sweet filling, and topped with an icing. They are simple to make, and much more delicious homemade. These little hand pies travel well for picnics, lunches, and they’re great for an anytime snack.
I start my Cherry Pie Pop Tarts with my own cherry pie filling, because the pie filling in a can just doesn’t taste as good as homemade. For the crust, I used my simple tart crust recipe. I topped these delicious Cherry Pie Pop Tarts with a cherry icing.
CHERRY PIE FILLING
15 ounces canned cherries (not pie filling)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup caster sugar (50 grams)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (10 grams)
POP TART CRUST
1 cup unsalted butter, cold (226 grams)
2 1/3 cups unbleached flour (336 grams)
1/3 cup powdered sugar (44 grams)
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons ice water
egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (76 grams)
Drain cherries, reserving the liquid. Stir lemon juice into the drained cherries. In a medium pot, whisk together 1/4 cup of the reserved cherry liquid, sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer on medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Once the mixture is simmering, add cherries; bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the cherry juice is translucent and thick. Remove from heat, cool completely. (this can be made a day ahead, placing it in a covered container.) Using a seive, drain excess juice from the cherries.
POP TART CRUST
Grate butter, put into freezer for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, rub in frozen, grated butter until it becomes breadcrumb-like. Add ice cold water, stir with a fork to combine. Bring dough into a ball, while still in the mixing bowl, using your hands. Place on lightly floured surface, giving it a quick, light knead (about 8 turns) until it’s smooth. Roll into a rectangle (about 1″ thick), wrap with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
Roll dough 1/8-inch thick, about a 7″ x 18″ rectangle, Trim dough to 6″ x 16″, then cut into eight 3″ x 4″ rectangles. Bring scraps together, give it a quick knead, then reroll 1/8-inch thick about 7″ x 13″ rectangle, trim dough to 6″ x 12″, then cut into six 3″ x 4″ rectangles. Bring scraps together, give it a quick knead, reroll 1/8-inch thick about 3″ x 8″, cut into two 3″ x 4″ rectangles. (You should get sixteen 3″ x 4″ rectangles)
Place sixteen 3″ x 4″ rectangle on 2 baking sheets (8 crusts on each baking sheet). Place 1 heaping Tablespoon of the cherry pie filling on 8 of the rectangles on one baking sheet (these are the bottoms of the tarts). Brush beaten egg around the filling on the edges of each bottom crust. Place a rectangle over the cherry filled bottoms, seal tops and bottoms together, then crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Brush tops with egg wash. Using the fork, poke holes in 3 places on the tops.
Bake at 350-degrees F. for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely.
Whisk together powdered sugar and 3-4 teaspoons of the reserved cherry juice, until smooth. Spread on the tops of each pop tart. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Enjoy!