Every recipe has its own rhythm. When the ingredients are combined, they begin to form personality. With time the cooking rhythm is established, and then a recipe is created.I took my time with the strawberry pop tart. I wanted the recipe to be familiar, but new. There’s a lot handheld pie recipes out there, but my goal was to make this recipe unique.The strawberry jam needed to be sweet with depths of flavor. The frosting not only needed to compliment the crust and filling, but it also needed to stand out on its own.With each batch tested, the closer I came to developing a treat that was worth getting excited about and worth taking the time to bake.One batch, the jam wasn’t sweet enough. Another time, I burnt the crust. I waffled with the frosting even: should it be clear and delicate or white and thick? It took time, but it was fun. With every batch that came out of the oven I made the people I love happy.The perfect hand held pie was finally created. It is full of concentrated strawberry flavor, with notes of marsala and orange that’s wrapped in a buttery crust with a sugary-orange frosting.When I think on the rhythm of strawberry pop tarts, it is obvious— colorful, melodic, thoughtful and happy.
Mini Strawberry Pop-Tarts
2 pounds strawberries, leaves removed and quartered
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dry marsala
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
zest of 1 orange
pinch of kosher salt
frosting (see below for recipe)
for the frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- In a medium sauce pan combine the strawberries, vanilla, marsala, sugar, cinnamon stick, orange zest and salt. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and stir. Increase heat to medium and cook for 20 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Once the strawberries have reduced to a jam-like consistency, remove from the heat and bring to room temperature. Store in an airtight container overnight in the fridge.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough. With a ravioli stamp, cut out the dough. Lay the pieces on a parchment (or silpat) lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Place a small spoonful of strawberry jam in the middle of each dough square. Cover the jam with another dough square.
- Using a fork, press to seal the edges of the pop-tart. Then, prick the top of each pop-tart with the fork (this will release air during the cooking process and will prevent the pop-tart from “puffing” up).
- Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the pop-tart are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Once the pop-tarts are at room temperature add the frosting and serve.