When I was a child I used to daydream about the day I went to college and could live on a steady diet of Lucky Charms, Ho-Hos, and Pop Tarts. Eventually my taste-buds changed for the better, but I’m embarrassed to say that I still have a special place in my heart for some junk foods. When it comes to Pop Tarts there is just something exciting about opening those shiny foil wrappers to find fruit filled tarts topped with that quintessential shiny frosting. I’m not even sure if they qualify as being “good eats” but I still can’t help my attachment to some of these nostalgic treats. Having my own diet restrictions and a child with food allergies motivates me to create playful treats that are reminiscent of the store-bought versions. Although I can no longer enjoy a traditional Pop Tart right out of the box, I do like to be indulged from time to time. Besides, I can think of no better reward than seeing my children’s faces light up when I hand them a homemade Pop Tart warm out of the oven.
These Cinnamon-Plum Pop Tarts are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, and soy-free. They are filled with a sweet fruit paste* that is easy to make in a few minutes. The tart dough is tender and sweet when baked, but sturdy enough that it doesn’t fall apart when rolling and cutting. I hope that you all have some fun and use a combination of dried fruits that suits your taste preferences. My family has fallen in love with chocolate filled tarts and I promise to share that soon!
*I think it is always important to give credit to some of the brilliant minds in the food blog world. One of my favorites is Pastry Chef, Stella Parks from the food blog, Brave Tart. My fruit filling is adapted from her recipe for Pop Tart filling.
For the Tart Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose, gluten-free flour mix (click here)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
- 1/3 cup of coconut milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the Fruit Filling
- 1 cup dried plums
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the scrapings of one vanilla bean
- 1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup or Agave Syrup
- 1/4 cup boiling water
For the Cinnamon Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar (use a corn-free brand if needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or milk substitute
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use homemade or the scrapings of a vanilla bean if you eat corn-free)
- Combine the coconut milk and granulated sugar. Stir for a minute or two to help the sugar dissolve. Set aside.
- In your food processor fitted with metal blade: place the flour, salt, and shortening. Pulse off and on until the mixture is resembles pea-sized crumbs (about 10 pulses). Add the coconut milk/sugar mixture and process for one minute or until the mixture forms a dough. Add a bit of additional flour (1 or 2 tablespoons) if your dough is too wet and sticky. Turn the dough onto plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and chill: 1-2 hours. *Chilling is important for flexibility and easy rolling.
- When the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 F and line a sheet pan with parchment or silpat.
- Roll the dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap that have been lightly sprinkled with rice flour. The dough should be between a 1/16 and a 1/4 of an inch thick. If you roll it too thin, it will fall apart too easily.
- Cut out shapes (a round biscuit cutter is the easiest, but rectangular shapes will give you that classic Pop Tart look!) and carefully transfer half of the cut shapes to prepared sheet pan. Fill with 1-2 tablespoons of the fruit filling depending on how big your tarts are. Top the filled tarts with a matching piece of dough and crimp the edges with your fingertips or a fork to seal the contents. Prick to create steam vents.
- *I brushed my tarts with a quick wash: 1/4 cup of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of agave (mixed together). This helped increase browning, but it is optional.
- Bake on center rack: 15-20 minutes depending on tart size (decrease time for mini shapes). When done the edges will just be turning golden brown. Cool on sheet pan then transfer to a plate or cooling rack.
- When cool, top with glaze and serve. These store well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Freeze leftovers. Warm in toaster oven or briefly in the microwave.
- Place all ingredients in your food processor (with metal blade) or vitamix. Process for 1-2 minutes or until you have a fairly smooth, thick fruit paste. If it seems impossibly thick add a bit more water or golden syrup. I have a fairly old food processor so I had to continually scrape down the sides and it probably took my machine 2-3 minutes to achieve a smooth paste.
- Scrape the fruit filling into a piping bag or ziploc bag with a cut corner. Set aside until ready to fill the tarts.
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.