The peach love continues this week with some awesome breakfast pastries. Pop tarts have been on my list of things to bake for some time now. Yes, I admit to having eaten them as a kid. I remember the foil packaging, the variety of flavours, and the fake, fake taste. I think I liked the Strawberry flavour the best, mainly because of the rainbow sprinkles dotting the white icing. Yeah...I ate with my eyes back in the day...
These homemade pop tarts (or turnovers, hand pies, whatever you want to call them) are, thankfully, nothing like your grocery store variety. It's fresh tasting, contain less sugar and no additives, and are rich and buttery.
With peach season still at its peak, I decided to make a peach and cream cheese filling. Make the peach jam from scratch—it'll be worth the extra effort. But if you don't have the time or it's the off-season, a good quality store-bought jam will do the trick. Don't like peach? Play around with different kinds of jam: strawberry, raspberry, blueberry...the options are endless!
These pop tarts are beautifully flaky. The tangy cream cheese works so well with the sweetness of the peach jam. These are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Enjoy them at room temperature, but I find them best warmed up.
A big thank you to Gizelle, who took this gorgeous photo above of my pop tarts and was so kind enough to let me post it up here. It's a big difference when you have a professional camera versus my dinky point-and-shoot, no? ;-) Be sure to check out Gizelle's amazing photos...I dare you not to drool at the food pornography!
Peaches and Cream Pop Tarts
For the pastry dough:
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water
For the peach jam:
1 1/2 pounds peaches
3/4 pound sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
For the cream cheese filling:
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor bowl and quickly pulse to mix everything. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Slowly add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
While the pastry dough is chilling, make the jam. To peel the peaches, cut a small X into the peaches and place in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the peaches and place in an ice bath. The skin should easily come off. Finely chop the peaches.
In a heavy medium pot, heat the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice over medium-high heat. If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean; add the seeds and pod to the pot. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and medium-low and simmer for about an hour, uncovered, until thick. Stir often to avoid the bottom from sticking and burning. When you've reached the right consistency, stir in the vanilla extract if using, remove from the heat and cool.
In a small bowl, cream the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Roll 1 disk at a time on a floured surface to about 13x11 inches. Trim to 12x10 and cut into eight 5x3-inch rectangles. Place the rectangles on a large baking sheet. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese filling and peach jam onto the center.
Roll out the second disk and cut into eight 5x3-inch rectangles. Brush the sides of the topped rectangles with the egg wash, cover with the second dough rectangles and gently press the edges to seal. Cover with second dough rectangle and gently press to seal. Crimp edges with a floured fork and poke a few holes on top. Cover tarts and freeze for 2 hours or overnight.
Remove the frozen tarts from the freezer and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or demerara sugar, if using. Bake frozen tarts in a preheated 375˚F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!
These pop tarts will keep, covered at room temperature, for up to 3 days. Simply pop it in your toaster oven and reheat for about 15 to 20 minutes at 225˚F.