Gifting sweet treats for Valentine's Day is nothing new. A rose-hued gradient fills supermarket aisles the month leading up to Valentines' Day, and customers swoop in to purchase tins of Sweethearts and heart-shaped lollipops. And believe me, I certainly understand the appeal of those classic February confections. However, we're trying to branch away from that this year in the pastry kitchen and instead lean towards goodies with more comforting, homemade flair; the types of treats you would eat in bed on Valentine's Day morning. Specifically, homemade Pop Tarts, ranging from sweet (filled with fruit preserves) to savory (E.S.K. - Egg, Kale, and Squash)! Read below for recipes and presentation ideas for your homemade Valentine's Day pastries! The dough is a neutral base that can be used for all of the Pop Tarts, sweet and savory.
Start by making your dough.
10 oz flour, half pastry flour, half all purpose
½ t sugar
½ t salt
4 oz butter, cold and diced
3 oz water
1 oz white vinegar or vodka
Mix the flour together with the dry ingredients.
Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingers until the mixture begins to take on a yellow color. Leave small chunks of butter. Add the liquids in three parts incorporating after each additions.
Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Take the dough out and press into a thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds forming a book. Press the dough flat into a rectangle again. Allow to rest 30 minutes in the refrigerator divide dough into 2 eight ounce portions and shape into a ball.
Roll the dough into two disks about 1/8 of an inch thick each
These disks should stay cold until ready to use.
When ready to use, cut 2 inch x 4 inch rectangles out of the pie dough.
Now, time for filling! If you're thinking sweet, you can start reading here. However, if you're more in the mood for a savory breakfast in bed, you can skip down a few recipes!
5 apples, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup butter
½ pound brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Sauté the fruit in butter and brown sugar. Allow the butter to brown and the sugar to melt. Once fruit is soft, allow to cool.
1 egg, cinnamon sugar
Crack the egg into a bowl and beat smooth with a brush.
Spoon a bit of cold fruit filling on the center of the pie dough rectangle and brush the egg mixture lightly around the edges.
Top with second pie dough piece and press the edges with a fork. Seal all of the edges. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Stab with a fork to create steam holes.
At this point, you can freeze for up to one month, or chill for twenty minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place pastry on a parchment paper lined sheet tray. Bake for ten minutes until the pastry begins to brown.
Turn down to 350 degrees and cook until medium brown and flaky.
Serve warm or keep at room temperature for three days
¾ Cup Confectioners’ sugar
1 Table Spoon Milk
½ teaspoon Vanilla
¼ teaspoon Lemon Juice
Melt Butter and combine all ingredients. Beat until smooth, and add food coloring if desired.
Once February comes around, I'm often trying to use up my summer fruit preserves I had made the past year. So, this year I will be filling some of my own Pop Tarts with Peach Rhubarb Jam. The filling and baking process is the same as above and any fruit preserve is a wonderful compliment to the flaky Pop Tart pastry.