Homemade Pop Tarts with Strawberry Lemon Chia Jam
Homemade Pop Tarts with Strawberry Lemon Chia Jam- Store bought pie crust is stuffed with a healthy, homemade quick jam making a simple and delicious pastry treat.
February 8, 2022 by Nicole Collins
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
I feel like the snacks of my youth are making a comeback these days. I’m in that generation now where the “kids” want to reboot the classics.
I’m also in that generation where I’m constantly reminded that the 80’s were not 20 years ago like I know them to be. Kids born in the year 2000 can legally take a sip of alcohol.
There a couple standout snacks that take me right back to the late 80s/early 90s. I wasn’t a dunkaroos kid or a fruit roll up kid. I was a handi-snacks and pecan swirl kid. Growing up, my mom always referred to pecan swirls as cinnamon rolls. So, imagine my surprise as a grown up seeing a REAL cinnamon bun for the first time. I actually bought pecan swirls for possibly the first time as an adult a couple weeks ago, and I was instantly transported back to 1992.
Pop tarts were a super trendy breakfast in my day. My little brother lived off of pop tarts for a while. But, I don’t remember ever being super into them.
Because today, we’re making Homemade Pop Tarts with Strawberry Lemon Chia Jam.
That’s a mouthful…I know. But it is SO WORTH IT!
Here’s the game plan. We’re going to take store bought pie crust, stuff it with a quick and healthy homemade chia jam, smother it in a light icing, and decorate with sprinkles until our hearts are content.
So, let’s get to it!
Let’s start with the chia jam. I’ve not been shy about how I feel about chia jam. I’m absolutely obsessed with it. And, I’m on a mission to convert everyone to chia jam lovers. In my opinion, the beauty of chia jam is how the fruit gets to truly shine without being weighed down by sugar. Chia jam relies on the natural pectin in fruit combined with the liquid absorbing chia seeds to help thicken the jam to a spreadable consistency. The only sweetener we add is up to a tablespoon of agave syrup to balance out our fruit, and that’s it. Since we’re not adding cups upon cups of sugar to this jam, it’s so much better for us in the long run. And, that’s not even mentioning the health benefits of chia seeds like the high protein, antioxidants, fiber, and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
We only need 4 ingredients for our chia jam: fresh or frozen strawberries, a lemon, chia seeds, and agave syrup. That’s it! We’ll add our strawberries to a small saucepan with a little lemon juice. Then we’ll bring it to a simmer, mash the berries to break them up a bit, and let them simmer for about 10 mins until the berries have thickened. Then, we add in our chia seeds, some lemon zest, and a squeeze of agave syrup; and mix it all together. And then, the jam is complete! We’ll let it chill in the fridge for about an hour to help it thicken up a bit. And then, we can prepare our pie crusts.
Since we’re making the jam from scratch, I think it’s a fair trade off to use a store bought pie crust. We’ll use the refrigerated crust that comes in a two pack, and we’ll follow the box instructions on how to bring the crust to room temperature. Now, here’s where you have a choice to make. Since we’re approaching Valentine’s Day, I thought it’d be super fun to make heart shaped pop tarts. You could also make squares, circles, or rectangles. The size and shape of your pop tarts will ultimately determine 2 things: how many you can get out of the pie dough and how much jam you’ll stuff them with. Using 4x4 squares, I was able to make 4 pop tarts total. But by using a 3 inch heart shape, I got about 8 pop tarts. You can re-roll your scraps of unused pie dough to get more pop tarts out of it, but I think the dough can get a little wonky doing that.
Once we have our dough cut out, we’re going to spread our chia jam over the center of half of the pie cut outs. Then, we’ll line up our top pieces of crust, and gently press around the edges to help fuse the two pieces of dough together. To really make sure our pie pockets are sealed, we’re going to go back around the edges with the tines of a fork which will help make sure all that delicious jam stays inside the dough where it belongs. Then, we’ll brush the tops of our pop tarts with egg wash so they get golden and shiny. And, we’ll cut little slits into the top of crust to keep these from exploding in the oven. Then, to the oven they go to bake for a couple of minutes until they’re shiny and golden.
After our pop tarts are finished baking, we’ll give them a couple minutes to themselves to start to cool down a bit. Then, they get topped with a simple icing made from milk and powdered sugar plus allllll of the sprinkles. Give the icing 15ish minutes to set, and it’s time to eat.
Here’s what I love the most about these pop tarts. They are the PERFECT mix of sweet, savory, and tart. The strawberry lemon chia jam on the inside of the pop tart is so fresh and slightly tart, but you really wouldn’t know that it’s actually good for you because it tastes so decadent. The pie crust is buttery and flaky and feels almost savory when partnered with its sweeter counterparts. Then, that icing on top is what lets you know you’re having a treat because it’s light, but just sweet enough to satisfy you. It’s such a flavor bomb on your tongue while being nostalgic in your heart. And, I feel way less guilty about eating these than I do about eating the store bought ones that come in that foil wrapper.
As a bonus…these reheat well too! I actually like them straight from the fridge. But, you can also reheat them in the oven (or a toaster oven…but not a stand up toaster) at a low heat to help crisp them back up.
Ok, everyone. If you’re looking for a special breakfast treat for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day (or any other day of the year), these pop tarts are definitely it!
I hope you guys enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Homemade Pop Tarts with Strawberry Lemon Chia Jam
Serves: 4-8 Print
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
½ – 1 tbsp agave syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 box (2 pack) refrigerated pie crust
1 egg + 1 tsp water, well beaten
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk (I used 2%)
sprinkles, for decorating
Make the Strawberry Lemon Chia Jam: Add strawberries and lemon juice to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once the berries start to simmer, use the back of a spoon or potato masher to mash the berries to your desired texture. Simmer the berries for 8-10 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, agave syrup, and chia seeds. Allow the jam to sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken and cool slightly. Chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the Pop Tarts: Thaw pie crusts according to package directions. Unroll pie crusts onto a clean surface. Use a 3 inch heart shaped cookie cutter to cut pie crust into 16 hearts. Alternately, use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the pie crust into 8 4x4 inch squares.
Arrange half of the pie shapes on prepared baking sheet. For heart shaped pop tarts, dollop a heaping teaspoon of chia jam into the center of each heart, and spread the jam slightly over the shape making sure to leave at least a ¼ inch border around the edges. For the square shaped pop tarts, dollop a heaping 2 tsp chia jam in the center of each square. Spread the jam slightly over the shape making sure to leave at least a ¼ inch border around the edges.
Place the remaining dough shapes directly over top of the jam filled shapes, and use your fingers to gently pinch the edges together to seal the pop tarts. Using the tines of a fork, go around the edges of each pop tart again making sure to secure the seam and close the pocket of each pop tart. Brush the tops of each pop tart with egg wash. Use a sharp knife to make small slits in the center of each pop tart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the pop tarts are golden. Allow pop tarts to cool for 10 mins.
Decorate the pop tarts: In a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and milk. Stir until completely smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of each pop tart. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Allow icing to set for about 15 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
*You can use fresh or frozen berries for this jam. You could even swap out the strawberries with blueberries or a berry mix too.
*The amount of sweetener you need will depend on the natural sweetness of your fruit. Taste after adding ½ tbsp of sweetener and decide if you want to add more based on your tastes.
*Store any leftover pop tarts in an airtight container in the fridge. These can be reheated in an oven or toaster oven at 325 degrees for about 5 minutes. I would not recommend reheating these in a standing/slot toaster.
*The size of your shapes will determine how many pop tarts you'll get out of the pie dough. You could re-roll the dough scraps to get more pop tarts, but they're not quite as pretty that way. You'll have a little jam leftover, so rolling out the scraps is definitely an option though!
*This 3 inch heart cutter is comparable to the one I used.
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