How exciting is it to realize you might actually be able to replicate a treat you imagined could only come from the store shelves? And with ingredients that will no doubt be much better for you! That is exactly why these beat out pie, mini tarts, and syrup for my first rhubarb recipe of the season.
I get pretty excited about rhubarb season. And not just because it’s so tasty. When rhubarb first starts appearing in stores and at farmers’ markets, I know that it finally, really, truly, is springtime. Time to get out the fans, open up the windows, and enjoy a delicious rhubarb cocktail on the screened-in porch!
Since I was so excited about rhubarb, I did consider going with a dessert that would better showcase the flavor of it. This is, after all, a dollop of jam surrounded by pastry and covered with icing. But it’s a pop tart! How could I resist?
I had planned on using fresh rhubarb, and creating a filling similar to what would be used in a pie. But at the farmers’ market, I discovered one of my favorite vendors was selling rhubarb ginger jam. It was like the universe was telling me to make these things! If you can’t find rhubarb jam anywhere, try replicating a pie filling—it should work just as well. As far as the recipe yield goes, if you cut these to be true pop tart-sized, you will end up with 9 pastries. I thought that size was a little big (and would rather have more, smaller treats), so I cut them small enough to get 12. And I doubled the recipe! The recipe below is for one batch (not the doubled amount that I made).
Homemade Rhubarb Pop Tarts
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 large eggs (one for the dough, one to brush on the dough later)
- 2 tbsp milk
- 8 oz. (1 cup) of jam
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- confectionery sugar
- lemon juice
Filling: Combine jam, cornstarch, and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce and let simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Side note: I urge you to consider trying several different fillings! There are so many options, and a lot of them require little-to-no prep work (i.e., cinnamon & brown sugar, nutella, etc.). As Deb also suggests in her post, these things would make amazing savory treats too. Just cut the sugar and half the salt from the dough. And instead of icing them, brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or kosher salt before baking.
Dough: Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, incorporate the butter until some small lumps of butter are still visible, but dough holds together when squeezed. If the mixture is not already in a bowl, transfer to one and mix in milk and 1 egg until an even mixture has formed. Knead briefly if necessary. Divide the dough in half and shape into two 3″ x 5″ rectangles. You can roll this out immediately, but you might want to refrigerate the dough for a few minutes if it’s somewhat humid (which I had to do).
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle that is approximately 9″ x 13″. Beat the second egg and brush it over the entire surface of the dough. Drop spoonfuls of filling onto the dough. (If you’re doing 3″ x 4″ tarts, a tablespoon should do. If you’re going smaller, use a little less.) I found it helpful to lightly score the dough to define the size of the tarts.
Roll out the second rectangle of dough into a sheet the same size. Carefully place on top of the first dough and filling, and use your fingers to seal the edges around the filling. (Note: I had a little trouble with my first batch not sealing properly. For the second batch, I reapplied the egg was right before I transferred the second dough, and had much better luck.)
Cut the tarts into their intended sizes, and carefully transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to press all along the edges of each tart (to give it that nice crimped look) and pierce a few holes in the top. Let tarts chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the tarts are chilling, preheat your over to 350°. Bake tarts for 20–25 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown. Allow them to cool completely on a rack before icing.
For the icing: Combine confectionery sugar with the juice from one lemon until you’ve achieved the desired consistency. Add coloring if you like, then spread or pipe over tarts.