These Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts have a super flaky crust and cheery pink glaze. The concept rivals that our favorite boxed breakfast treats, but trust me when I say that you can’t find flakes like these in any grocery store aisle. Making just 5 individual hand pies, this small-batch recipe is super easy and fun for bakers of all ages.
Baking at home is always more fun when churning up feelings of nostalgia and sharing the experience with those you love. I introduced my 5 year old to Pop Tarts a few months ago. He discerning palette wasn’t particularly sold on the boxed treat. My husband and I reminisced of the different flavors we ate as kids, hello brown sugar cinnamon and s’mores! But without the memories of ripping open that foil package running out the door for school, he wasn’t nearly as impressed.
It’s hard to compare these homemade strawberry pop tarts with Kellog’s. A tasty, hand-held treat with fruit filling and glaze - the concept is just about the only thing that’s similar between homemade and store-bought pop tarts. Besides being the same shape and stuffed with fruit, the homemade versions are wildly different. Yes, I think they taste way better, but that’s mostly because the homemade pop tarts have a true pie crust. You can’t pop them in the toaster at the ready, but the texture is undoubtedly superior.
After making the pie dough, I enlisted said 5 year old to make these homemade hand pies. Maybe if he helped bake them, then he could truly appreciate how amazing breakfast pie can be (spoiler - he loved these!). We rolled them out together, but he took the wheel when it came to the filling and egg wash. Even little sister helped glaze and sprinkle!
These hand pies are all about the crust: golden, crisp, with flakes upon flakes. I used the same all-butter pie dough recipe as I use for my full-sized pies. A single crust recipe makes 5 hand pies. This small-batch recipe is perfect because the pies are best served the same day as they are made.
Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts
makes 5 hand pies
All Butter Pie Dough
½ cup ice cold water*
1 ⅓ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ cup + 1 tablespoon very cold butter, cut into about ¼-inch slices
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar.
Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or by hand, rubbing the pieces of butter between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Once the pieces are about the size of almonds, begin to flatten the pieces of butter in sheets by smearing them between your palms. Be careful not to over-work the butter or let it get too warm.
Working with only a couple tablespoons at a time, add in about 5 to 7 tablespoons of the water. Stir together using a wooden spoon or even just a clean hand in the bowl. The dough should appear fairly shaggy and not sticky. Once you can squeeze a few pieces together and they hold, the dough is done being mixed and hydrated. Do not over-mix or add too much water*.
Shape the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.
¾ cup strawberry jam
1 egg yolk
sugar for sprinkling
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk, divided
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
gel food coloring (optional)
10 minutes before you are ready to bake, remove the pie dough from the refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 11-inches by 16-inches. Trim the edges until even.
Using a pastry wheel or paring knife (a pizza cutter works well here too), cut the dough into 10 rectangles, each about 3-inches by 5-inches. Keeping a clean border, place about 2 tablespoons of jam into the center of half of the rectangles. These are the bottom crusts of the hand pies.
Mix together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom crusts (around the jam filling). Place a dough rectangle on top of each bottom piece and gently press down on the edges with your fingertips to close. Seal the top and bottom pieces of the pies by pressing the tines of a fork around the edges. Poke the center of each pie about 4 times to vent.
Carefully move the hand pies to the lined baking sheet. Trim the edges of the pies as needed. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Once hot, remove the pies from the refrigerator. Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the milk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, lemon, and gel food coloring (if using). Spoon the glaze over the tops of the pies. Add sprinkles, if desired.
Pop tarts are best served on the same day that they are made. Store leftovers wrapped in plastic at room temperature overnight. They will stay taste great the next day but won’t be as crisp.
Don’t be too tempted to overfill the pop tarts. Although a little bit of jammy leakage would still taste great. Press to seal the edges to keep from leaking too much.
Read up on how to make the flakiest pie dough before getting started