Have y'all been enjoying all of this season's cherry recipes so far? Over the past couple of weeks I've shared an easy spritzer cocktail, and a twist on classic cherry pie--both made with the bounty provided to me by Northwest Cherry Growers. Today, we're throwing things back with a childhood classic. Slide up to the TV for Saturday morning cartoons (mine were Recess and Rugtats!), break out your footie pajamas, and grab one of these homemade cherry pop tarts while you still can. 🙂 Cherry season is winding down soon and this is the last cherry recipe I'll share for a while...I think. I do have a couple of pounds stashed in my freezer! I've also linked all of the cherry recipes from last summer at the bottom of this post.
These homemade cherry pop tarts are so easy to make--especially because I used store-bought (gasp) pie crust for them. I guess that makes them semi-homemade but I can't be bothered because they're still delicious. Time's been at a premium for me, lately. What about you? Anyways, you can certainly make a homemade pie crust for these in under an hour--I have a great crust recipe here--if you've got the time. Let's talk about the filling, though, since that's where all the action is. 🙂 The filling is fruit, luscious, and simple to make. My rendition isn't as sugary sweet as what you would find in stores and I love it. The cherry flavor really shines through. Of course, if you're looking to make a version closer to the boxed kind we grew up on, you can add about ¼ cup more sugar to the filling ingredients. The cherry filling is pretty similar to my cherry compote recipe but with the addition of flour for thickening. You can also use cornstarch instead for the same result without gluten!
To make these, you simply cook up the filling and let it cool. I stick mine in the fridge to chill out quickly, which also helps with the thickening process. Meanwhile, roll out and prep your dough. Most store-bought pie dough is circularly shaped, so I trim off the rounded edges to get squares, which are much easier to work with for this kind of project. I combine and roll out the extra dough to form more pop tarts and end up with a total of 16 pieces, which yields eight pop tarts. Cut your squares into rectangles, wet the edges of each rectangle, then fill with cherry goodness! After that, you can pop the top crusts on and crimp the edges using the good ole fork method. I also recommend poking a few holes in the top of each one with your fork. This helps keep your homemade cherry pop tarts from bursting and emulates the look of the ones we know and love from childhood.
The glaze is optional but so simple that you might as well do it. I just mix up powdered sugar and with splash of milk or water then squeeze a bit of cherry juice into it to get that pretty pink color. Whisk everything together then drizzle the glaze over your cooled homemade cherry pop tarts and just try not to drool! These are yummy warm or cold but I prefer to eat them the same way as their less-desirable store-bought counterparts--warmed up. That way the crust is softer and the luscious, fruity filling is a little bubbly. I'm working from home today (tweaked my hip during yoga yesterday) so maybe I'll whip up a small batch of these during lunch. Let me know you're favorite pop tart flavor in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
P.S. Last summer's cherry recipes:
- Black Sesame Cherry Ice Cream
- Cherry Elderflower Cocktail
- Cherry Rosé Sangria
- Frozen Cherry Margs
- Spiced Cherry Cobbler
- Slow Cooker Cherry & Apple Crisp
- The Easiest Cherry Jam
Easy Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts
- 2 cups fresh cherries pitted
- juice of half a lemon
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 pre-made pie crusts found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store
- 1 egg beaten, optional
- powdered sugar
- milk or water
- juice from one cherry
- Add cherries, lemon juice, juice to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until bubbly. Lower heat then mash cherries with a spoon. Vigorously whisk in flour and water then simmer until thickened (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and place in fridge to chill and thicken further (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, thaw pie crust according to package instructions.
- Once filling has cooled, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll thawed pie crusts and cut the rounded edges off in order to two large squares. Cut each square into six equal rectangles (about 3" by 4" each). It may be necessary to roll the removed rounded edges of dough into a ball and roll it out in order in order to cut out more rectangles. Wet the edges of each rectangle with a bit of water.
- Spoon about one tablespoon of filling into the middle of each of half the rectangles of dough then place the remaining rectangles over top. Press the edges of each pop tart with a fork to seal.
- Place pop tarts on a baking sheet. If desired, brush each pop tart with a bit of egg wash. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
- Allow pop tarts to cool. Meanwhile mix together glaze ingredients. Glaze them once they reach about room temperature.