Monday, February 27, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

There's something about the end of winter that makes me crave food that would more ordinarily associated with fall.

There is also something extremely rewarding about baking something that I had previously thought could only come from a package. And without all the preservatives and stuff, it's like totally healthy. Plus it means that I rock at life. Right?

Going into this, I was not entirely convinced that this would be worth the extra effort, but having them fresh from the oven makes them much better, and for me the satisfaction of making something from scratch is worth the extra effort.

Recipe - Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker:

For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg (for brushing the dough)

For the Filling:
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Maple Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk
Cinnamon for dusting


For the crust:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and break it up in the flour mixture using a pastry cutter. Work it in until only pea sized lumps remain in your mixture.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and stir to make sure that moisture is introduced to all of the flour mixture. Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and knead the dough on the floured counter for a few turns until it really starts to come together. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

In a small sauce pan, heat pumpkin puree and spices over medium heat. Just heat through until the spices become fragrant. This helps to bring loads of flavor into the filling. Remove from heat and place spiced pumpkin in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in egg, salt and sugar and place in the fridge to rest while you roll out the dough.

Putting it together*:

This would probably work better if you are into measuring and being precise. I'm not. I just rolled the dough out until it was to the desired thickness and then cut into equalish looking pieces. 

1) On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3×5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a rectangle. Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares. Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way.

2) Brush half of the squares with beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each non-brushed dough square. Top with a piece of brushed dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Using the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart.

3) Let tarts rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden (mine took 22 minutes).

4) While tarts are baking, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze until smooth. Once the tarts have completely cooled, pour over the tarts and dust with cinnamon.

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