Homemade Whole-Wheat Maple & Apple Pop Tarts

March 2013

Why did I make my own poptarts?

a. I have a friend who likes all natural, maple pop tarts, and as a baker, I felt I owed her my own version.
b. I’m a control freak, and even the “natural” poptarts probably have some extra ingredients I could do without.
c. Leftovers are an excuse to eat pie for breakfast!
d. All of the above.

Maple Pop Tarts

All of the above indeed!

Pop Tarts Cooling

Maple & Apple-Cinnamon Pop Tarts
Makes 6 

Dough Ingredients

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 Tablespoon pure cane sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine salt

2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Apple-Cinnamon Filling Ingredients

2 medium apples, such as Pink Lady or Gala, cored and peeled
4 Tablespoons packed organic dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Meyer Lemon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 pinches fine salt

Assembly Ingredients

Flour, for rolling the dough
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

For the Dough

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined.

Add the butter and toss with your fingers until well coated in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients until reduced to pea-size pieces.

Whisk the egg yolks, milk and vanilla in a small bowl until combined.

Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hands until large clumps form.

Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and knead briefly, smearing the butter into the dough with the heel of your palm until the dough completely comes together, about 1 minute.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and shape into 2 (6-by-5-inch) rectangles. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling.

For the Apple-Cinnamon Filling

Cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices and again into 1/4-inch pieces.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium frying pan over medium heat.

Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the apple juices begin to release, about 5 minutes.

Continue cooking until the apples just begin to soften, about 3 minutes more.

Remove the pan from heat.

Set a mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl and transfer the apples and all of the juices to the strainer; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, roll out the dough.

To Assemble the Tarts

Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll 1 dough portion out into a rough 12-by-10-inch rectangle, rotating the dough and re-flouring the surface and rolling pin often to prevent the dough from sticking.

Using a pie dough cutter or a sharp knife, trim the dough to a 10-1/2-by-9-inch rectangle.

Cut that into 6 equal rectangles (each about 3 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall).

Using a flat spatula, transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each.

Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl until evenly combined; set aside.

Roll out the second dough portion to the same dimensions as the first, trim, and cut into 6 rectangles. Using a fork, prick the dough all over.

Transfer 2 Tablespoons of the cooled apple juices to a medium bowl and set aside for the *glaze (recipe below); set the remaining juices aside.

Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and brush a thin coating of the egg wash over each dough rectangle.

Spoon about 1 heaping T ablespoon of the apple filling onto each rectangle and spread it into an even layer, leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Top each rectangle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the remaining apple juices.

Place the pricked rectangles on top of the apple-covered rectangles.

Press on the edges to adhere, and push down gently on the filling to slightly flatten.

Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges of the tarts.

Bake until golden brown, about 23 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before glazing.

Maple Bourbon Glaze

Ingredients 

2 Tablespoons apple juice reserve
1 cup organic confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
2 Tablespoons Grade B Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Bourbon

Directions for Maple Bourbon Glaze

In a bowl add the sugar, vanilla, water, maple syrup and bourbon.

Whisk until there are no lumps. Set aside.

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