Hi hi from Montauk! We are up here for few days with Richard's Mum and Sisters who are over visiting from home! So far we've eaten a couple of giant salads made with ingredients from the local farm stand, a few fish tacos, and have indulged in a lot of blobbing about. It's going to be so nice to have a wee break from the city!
I just wanted to pop by and share this recipe with you while we are still in stone fruit season here in the states, although it can be made with a jar of your fave preserves. I had some extra puff pastry left over from a project, and a bowl full of amazingly fresh apricots, so pop tarts really were a great mistake waiting to happen. This recipe is incredibly versatile and can really be made with any type of puff pastry - fresh or home made, or a store bought jam, or one you have made yourself. However you choose to make them, I promise they will be delicious. If you haven't made your own jam before I really do encourage you to give it a try - it's super easy and the most amazing way to preserve fruit when it is at its peak long after the season ends. And you can't go wrong with the butteriest, flakiest of puff pastries, and a vanilla bean icing. Enjoy!
A few wee tips:
The apricot jam does take some time to cool, so ensure that you leave time for this. If you need it to cool faster, you can place it into a shallow dish to increase the surface area.
Make sure you sterilise your jars and lids - I like to put the jars in the oven at about 300˚f for 15 mins to kill off any germs. I then put the lids in boiling water and leave them in there until I am ready to use them.
This recipe is easily customisable - you can use store bought puff, and definitely can use a regular store bought jar of jam or preserves inside.
It is also very easy to scale - the recipe makes about 3 jars of jam, so make as few or as many as you like. They do freeze very well too - freeze until solid then transfer to an airtight container, then bake when you are ready.
I use a homemade puff pastry in this recipe because that is what I had leftover, but since making and shooting these I have also been playing around with a rough puff pastry recipe which is a bit easier to make and just as delicious, so you could absolutely use that too.
Apparently people put pop tarts in the toaster? I definitely wouldn't recommend that with these - if you would like to reheat, a few minutes in a preheated oven would help crisp them up a little - just bear in mind the icing might get a bit melty.
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing
- Makes about 9 pop tarts -
1/2 recipe Homemade puff pastry, or 1/2 recipe of Rough Puff pastry, or about 700g good quality store bought puff pastry (the filling recipe makes more than enough jam, so this can be easily scaled depending on how many you want to make, and they freeze very well)
Apricot Jam Filling
1kg apricots, pit removed and roughly chopped
60g (1/4 cup) water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of kosher salt
Juice of half a lemon
Vanilla Bean Icing
150g Powdered sugar, Sifted
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk
- PROCESS -
APRICOT JAM FILLING
Place a small plate in the freezer to use later to check the gelling of the jam.
In a Large heavy bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven), bring the apricots and water to a gentle boil, and then cook, stirring often, until the fruit is tender.
Add the sugar and cook, stirring often, until it is starting to reduce slightly, or reaches 105˚c / 220˚f on a candy thermometer. Skim off any foam if it develops.This generally takes me about 15-20 minutes, and I prefer to use the thermometer method and double check with the plate method.
To double check if the jam is done, place about a tablespoon on the frozen plate, then return to the freezer for 2-3 minutes (remove the jam from the heat while you wait to ensure that it does not overcook). Give the jam on the plate a little nudge with your finger - if it wrinkles, it is done.
Ladle the finished jam into the sterilised jars, and screw the lids on tightly. Allow to cool completely, then store in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 375˚f / 190˚c. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle. If you are worried about it getting too warm and soft, you can cut it in half and do this in two parts. Using a ruler and a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut the pastry into 3" x 4" rectangles (7cm x 10cm). You should get approximately 18 rectangles. Place the cut rectangles carefully onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and refrigerate for 10 mins to help firm up the pastry slightly.
Remove the pastry rectangles from the fridge and match up into pairs. Lightly brush the edges of one piece of pastry with egg wash, then place about a tablespoon of apricot jam in the centre. Top with a second piece of pastry, pressing down lightly around the edges to seal, ensuring that there are no air bubbles. Use the tines of a fork to press down around the edges to help seal. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rectangles of pastry until all the pop tarts are assembled.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer, and freeze the pop tarts for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer, and brush lightly with egg wash.
Bake the pop tarts for 30-35 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Combine all of the icing ingredients in a small bowl until a spreadable consistency. Add more powdered sugar or cream if necessary. Spoon over the pop tarts and garnish with sprinkles if desired.
Best eaten on the same day that they are made.