Forget store bought! Homemade cherry pop tarts are easy hand pies with a buttery, flakey crust and a quick homemade jam filling from summer cherries. Store bought can't begin to compare! Enjoy this delicious recipe today before the fresh cherries are gone!
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, salt and sugar together with a fork or a whisk. Using your fingers, two forks or a pastry cutter, begin to work the butter into the dough until you have coarse crumbs. Stir in the water a tablespoon at a time, using a fork to incorporate it into the dough, checking it with your fingers by pinching the dough together. You can also do this with a food processor, if you wish. Do not over-work the dough – you want to be able to see bits of butter within the dough, and it will still be rather shaggy and loose. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to bring it together into a ball, but be careful not to overwork the dough. When the mixture pulls together into a ball, wrap the dough in a piece of plastic wrap, form it into a rectangle, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Make the filling:
In a small sauce pan, stir the cherries, sugar, lemon juice and salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and bubbly. Lower heat. Whisk together the cornstarch and water, and stir into the cherry, stirring constantly, until it is a thick jam. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to cool completely.
On a lightly floured surface, prepare to roll out the dough. Lightly sprinkle the dough with flour, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Use a ruler and pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into 3×4 inch rectangles. Gather the scraps of dough and re-roll to cut more rectangles. You should have about 12 rectangles. Place 6 rectangles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet(s).
Whisk the egg and water together, then lightly brush the edges of the dough on the 6 rectangles. Place 2 tablespoons of cherry filling in the center of each rectangle (be sure to reserve some filling to make the pink glaze). Lay another rectangle on top, pressing the edges with your fingers, and crimping by pressing together with a fork. Continue with the remaining pop tarts. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, along with the egg wash.
While the pop tarts chill, preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
When the pop tarts are ready to bake, lightly brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Use a fork or skewer to poke small holes on the top of the dough to allow steam to escape. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool a little before glazing.
Make the glaze:
Use a fork to mash the cherry filling until smooth, and stir in the water. Whisk in the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until smooth and you achieve your desired consistency, using a little more or less as necessary. Pass through a sieve, then spread the glaze on your pop tarts, and top with the sprinkles. Let it cool on a wire rack (it takes about 40 minutes for the glaze to harden)… or enjoy immediately.
The separate components can be prepared in advance, from the dough to the filling, making these pop tarts an even easier treat to make in advance.
You can also form the pop tarts and instead of refrigerating for 20 minutes, freeze in a freezer safe container and bake at a later time.
While this recipe yields 6 pop tarts, you can easily double it to make an even dozen. Save some for future baking, or bake them all at once!