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Making Joanne Chang's Pop Tarts to celebrate Flour Back Bay

Posted by Melissa Massello  January 16, 2013 10:00 AM

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For months, I walked by the former Hard Rock site on Clarendon Street, trying to catch a glimpse as to what was going on inside. Awaiting the arrival of Joanne Chang's latest Flour Bakery was hard. But since last Friday's opening, resisting the smells of freshly baked pastries on the way to work, even when you've already had breakfast, proves harder.

To celebrate the fourth location, I decided to make one of my favorite Flour treats, homemade pop tarts, with a DIY twist.

I have made quite a few items from the Flour cookbook, but this was my first attempt at pop tarts. Though my pastry dough skills are seriously lacking (don't count on me to roll it into any shape besides amorphous), this pâte brisée is quite forgiving.

If you make your own jams and preserves (or attend food swaps), this is a great way to use up some of your stores. I emptied a few almost-gone jars: pumpkin butter, strawberry lemon preserves, and mulled cider jelly. Of course, a jar of Smuckers works just as well.

HOMEMADE POP TARTS
makes 8 pastries
from
Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe

• Pâte Brisée (please see recipe below)
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1 cup (340 grams) jam, fruit butter, or preserve

Simple Vanilla Glaze
• 1 cup (140 grams) confectioners’ sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 to 3 tablespoons water
• Rainbow sprinkles for sprinkling (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Press each half into a rectangle. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half into a 14-by-11-inch rectangle. Using a paring knife, lightly score 1 rectangle into eight 3 1/2-by-5 1/2-inch rectangles (about the size of an index card).

Brush the top surface of the entire scored rectangle with the egg. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the jam in a mound in the center of each scored rectangle. Lay the second large dough rectangle directly on top of the first. Using fingertips, carefully press down all around each jam mound, so the pastry sheets adhere to each other.

Using a knife, a pizza roller (easier), or a fluted roller (easier and prettier), and following the scored lines, cut the layered dough into 8 rectangles. Place the rectangles, well spaced, on a baking sheet.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops of the pastries are evenly golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.

To make the glaze: While the pastries are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and enough of the water to make a smooth, pourable glaze. You should have about 1/2 cup. (The glaze can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

When the pastries have cooled for 30 minutes, brush the tops evenly with the glaze, then sprinkle with the rainbow sprinkles (if using). Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the glaze to set before serving.

The pastries can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Pâte Brisée
Makes about 18 ounces dough, enough for 8 pop-tarts or one 9-inch double-crust or lattice-top pie

• 1 3/4 cups (245 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks / 228 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
• 2 egg yolks
• 3 tablespoons cold milk

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, sugar, and salt for 10 to 15 seconds, or until combined. Scatter the butter over the top. Mix on low speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or just until the flour is no longer bright white and holds together when you clump it and lumps of butter the size of pecans are visible throughout.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk until blended. Add to the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the dough just barely comes together. It will look really shaggy and more like a mess than a dough.

Dump the dough out onto an unfloured work surface, then gather it together into a tight mound. Using your palm and starting on one side of the mound, smear the dough bit by bit, starting at the top of the mound and then sliding your palm down the side and along the work surface (at Flour we call this “going down the mountain”), until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the dough comes together. Do this once or twice on each part of the dough, moving through the mound until the whole mess has been smeared into a cohesive dough with streaks of butter.

Gather up the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and press down to flatten into a disk about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

~Tara

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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