Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Apple "Pop Tarts" with Cinnamon Glaze (and how I conquered my fear of homemade crust)

Sometimes in life when you are afraid to do something you just have to dive in head first and do it. That's just what I did with this recipe. I very seldom make homemade crust (heavy emphasis on the word seldom). I haven't found a recipe I love and I hate to waste precious ingredients (butter is like gold to me) so I usually stick with store bought crust (gasp!). This time I knew I wanted the crust to be the star so I decided to dive in and give homemade crust another try. I have to say that I was so surprised and impressed by the results. This crust recipe is so buttery, so flaky and so  amazingly good it can rival puff pastry when it comes to flakiness. I'm so proud of myself for finally conquering my fear of pie crust!

If you would like to simplify the recipe and skip making your own dough, it would also be delicious using frozen puff pastry or refrigerated ready made pie crust, but I highly recommend the homemade crust if you have the time. It's definitely worth it!

Homemade Apple "Pop Tarts" with Cinnamon Glaze
Makes 8 servings (or 8 pop tarts)


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cold milk

2 large granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Cinnamon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Egg Wash
1 egg lightly beaten


To make the dough

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt by mixing for a few seconds.

Scatter the butter over the top and mix at low speed just until the mixture holds together when you squeeze a clump of it in your hand. This took exactly 1 1/2 minutes on my mixer. You should still see large lumps of butter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together. It should still look shaggy and messy and not cohesive.

Dump the dough out onto an unfloured surface and shape it into a tight mound. Using the heel of your hand start at the top of the dough (either the far right or far left) and smear it down towards you. Repeat the process until the entire mound of dough has been smeared. You should see streaks of butter throughout the dough. These streaks will make your pastry flaky!

Using a bench scraper or thin spatula, scrape up the dough and place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, form it into a disk (I made mine rectangular shape since that's the shape you will ultimately be rolling it into). Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 4 days. As a time saver, I made my crust the night before & then assembled/baked the pop tarts in the morning.

Prepare the filling

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and stir until the apples just begin to soften (approx 2 minutes). Add the brown sugar and continue to cook stirring constantly until the sugar is melted and the apples are softened (approx 3 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

To the cooked apples, add the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and egg. Stir gently with a rubber spatula to combine. Make sure the mixture is cooled completely before using.

Prepare the glaze

In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon. If glaze is too runny, add a little more powdered sugar and vice versa.

To assemble

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Place one half back in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle approximately 24"x11". Cut the dough into 8 equal rectangles.

Brush four of the rectangles with the egg wash. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the apple filling into the center of the egg washed rectangles. Place the other rectangles on top and crimp with a fork.

Remove the second half of the dough from the fridge, repeat the above process with the remaining dough.

Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 35-40 minutes or until dough is golden brown.

Allow to cool 30 minutes, then brush with the cinnamon glaze. Enjoy!

Keep leftovers stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Source: Adapted from Buns in my Oven


  1. I'm going to try this crust and all!! I too by pass the homemade crust because I'm too afraid of the outcome, but I will give this a go and hope for the best:)

  2. Hi Chelle. So glad you're going to give this recipe a try! The homemade crust really made a difference. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! : )

  3. Hi, I made this for my best friend, who's pregnant right now and craving. It's sitting in the fridge as I type this, but I have a concern:
    After ONE minute of mixing on low speed, and even after I added the whisked egg yolks and milk, it's consistency was NOT clumpy or shaggy. It was VERY cohesive. I had to add a little extra flour. I wanted your thoughts- do you think it will still work? There weren't any butter streaks. Like I said, all mixed well and not clumpy at all! It worries me.

    1. Hi Gemma! Sorry for the late reply. How did it turn out? Was it very warm where you are? It could be that the butter wasn't cold enough or maybe the dough was mixed too long. You should still have seen large chunks of butter. If overmixed, you can still use the dough, it just won't be as flaky. Please let me know how it turned out.