Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Pecan Pie Pop Tarts

Pecan Pie Pop Tarts
Frosted and sprinkled with pecans

Pecan Pie Pop Tarts

The Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavor/extract
  • Make the filling at least 3 hours before planning to make the pop tarts because you want it to be as viscus as possible.
  • In a medium size saucepan over medium-low heat, place the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and egg. Stir ingredients to incorporate and continue stirring while it cooks.
  • Cook until the mixture comes to a gentle boil/simmer and thickens slightly. 
  • Once it boils, remove from the heat and add the pecans along with the vanilla and butter flavor/extract. Stir completely.
  • Transfer mixture to a heat-proof container (like a clean mason jar), allow to cool, and then refrigerate until needed.

The Crust

  • 200 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 32 grams cornstarch
  • 30 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 56 grams cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 90 milliliters cream
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Pulse a few times to blend the dry ingredients.
  • Add the butter and pulse a few more times until you get a sandy-looking mixture with possibly a few small chunks of butter left.
  • Pour in the cream and pulse a few times to disperse the cream. Then process for 30 to 60 seconds until the dough comes together and starts forming a ball, or at least cohesive chunks.
  • Get a square piece of plastic wrap and set aside (you'll need two pieces of plastic wrap total).
  • Weigh the dough and then divide into two equal portions.
  • Working with one half of the dough at a time on the plastic wrap, pat into a ball, and then flatten the sides of the ball to sort of form a dough cube.
  • Flatten the cube while trying to maintain the square shape as much as possible. 
  • Once it's about 1/2 inch thick, place onto the plastic wrap and try to neatly fold the dough into the plastic wrap so you get squared off corners with the plastic wrap.
  • Gently use a rolling pin to roll the dough in the plastic wrap so the dough squishes into the corners. It probably won't create a perfect square, but the more square you can get it now, the easier the rolling will be later.
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Place dough in the refrigerator for about an hour, or up to 2 days.

The Pop Tarts

  • 1 batch (in 2 pieces) pop tart dough (see above)
  • 1 cup (approximately) pecan pie filling
  • 90 grams powdered sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons water, plus more for sealing pop tarts
  • 2 tablespoons crushed toasted pecans and or 2 tablespoons crushed toffee bits
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper 
  • rolling pin
  • stiff ruler, plastic or metal
  • pizza cutter
  • fork
  • knife or offset spatula
  • small pastry brush
  • whisk

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Lightly dust your rolling surface with flour, and turn out one of your dough pieces. Flour your rolling pin and gently swat the dough to soften it up--tap a few times in each direction side to side, top to bottom, and diagonally both ways. Turn the dough over and swat it on that side too.
  • Start rolling the dough out into a rectangle and about 1/8" or 2 mm thickness, keeping the corners as square as possible. If the dough is cracking a lot, let it sit a few more minutes to soften before continuing to roll.
  • Using the ruler and the pizza cutter, cut the edges of the dough to make a clean-looking rectangle, preserving as much area as possible. You can bake off the scraps later or throw them away.
  • Measure the height and width of the sheet of dough and divide by 3. Then cut into 9 rectangles that are as equally sized as possible. Move the rectangles to the parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.
  • Repeat the swatting and rolling with the second piece of dough, going just a little bit thinner to make a slightly larger rectangle. Repeat the measuring and cutting as well.
  • Using a floured fork, carefully poke holes into each piece of top crust.
  • Get your pecan pie filing, and using a spoon or offset spatula, spread about 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling onto the pieces of dough on the pan. Leave at least a quarter inch around the edge clear of filling. Repeat with remaining bottom crusts.
  • Using the pastry brush and water, lightly moisten the edges of dough around the filling. 
  • Place a top crust onto each of the bottom ones, gently pressing the edges together. Once you've done this with all of the pop tarts, dip a fork in flour and crimp all of the edges of each pop tart.
  • (If you're using crushed toffee for the topping, lightly brush the top crusts with water and sprinkle evenly with crushed toffee.)
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown.
  • Move pop tarts to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once pop tarts are completely cool, whisk the 90 grams powdered sugar with 3 teaspoons water. Add the last teaspoon of water if the mixture is too thick and/or dry. This mixture should not be runny. 
  • Using an offset spatula or a knife, spread about a teaspoon of frosting onto each pop tart and then immediately sprinkle with crushed pecans, if desired. 
  • Allow frosting to set before enjoying.
  • Eat or freeze within 3 days.
  • Only toast the pop tarts if you do not frost them. This frosting will burn in a toaster.

Here's a video of how I made cherry pop tarts. Same basic process applies with the Pecan Pie Pop Tarts. 

The filling

Topped with crushed toffee bits

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