A long time ago on a farmette far far away it is a period of thoughtful contemplation. My grandson is coming for a visit and I’m browsing the local grocery pondering the difference between light and dark, good and evil, healthy and processed treats.
Knowing how disheartening it can be to read ingredient list labels, I head for the natural market section thinking things might look brighter there. No such luck. Here’s the list of ingredients on the box of toaster pastries I pick up:
“Maybe,” I think, “we’d be better off just making some.” How hard could it be to put together a dough out of simple ingredients like flour, butter and maple syrup? Filled with some All-Fruit jam they’d be a perfect sort of “rogue” Pop-Tart.
Enlisting the help of my grandson and daughter, we set off into this galactic adventure and ended up making a couple of batches. Our results were two-fold. First, we did end up a great little tart made with simple ingredients.
However, because it’s easy to be led off-track by rebel forces, other tarts were filled with things we found lurking in the cupboards like chocolate-hazelnut spread and cinnamon sugar. Some even ended up getting a glop of glaze and rainbow sprinkles!
The tarts were all tasty, but I think the 4 ingredient tarts with the all-fruit were just what I had in mind. Darrell and I were both partial to some that were filled with fig jam. (topped with a little coconut milk ice-cream broke all the “simple” rules but tasted amazing anyway!)
This is a fun activity to do with kids but don’t be surprised to see the grown-ups gobbling them up when no-one is looking!
May the tarts be with you!
3 cups sifted flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
*you’ll also need an egg white for brushing/sealing the tarts before baking
Choose your filling: All-fruit jam (Other thick jams work well, too. We loved fig.) Chocolate-hazelnut spread. Cinnamon-sugar (1/2 c brown sugar, T cinnamon, T flour, 1 T softened butter/optional).
Mix together the first 4 ingredients. Divide into two even pieces. Flatten each into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 15 minutes.
Starting with one piece, roll it into a rectangle about 9 by 12. Dough should be about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, divide into 9 equal pieces (3 x 4 inches each) These will be the bottoms of your tarts. Keep the sizes uniform as you’ll need to match a top to each bottom! I’ve also adjusted the size of the tarts for smaller tarts.
Place each piece on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it back in the fridge while you repeat the process with the remaining dough.
When you’re ready to fill, brush the bottom with the egg white lightly beaten with 2 tsp of water. Top with 1 Tablespoon of your filling of choice leaving about 1/4 inch all the way around. Watch out for rogue-behavior!
Make sure that there is still egg wash on the edge that is exposed on the bottom tart and gently press a top piece in place. Seal by gently crimping the edge with a fork. Poke 6-8 holes into the top crust with a toothpick or use a knife to make a slit (as pictured above). This will allow steam to escape.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden on the bottom (may not be golden on top!)
Cool on wire rack. Glaze if desired. For our glaze we used 1/2 cup confectionary sugar, 1 tsp softened butter, a drop of vanilla, and milk to desired consistency. Start mixing with minimal addition of milk till you have a smooth but thick glaze. Thin it from there. Allow glaze to set once you’ve topped the tarts with it!
Other posts that feature Little Patrick and I cooking together that have recipes you might like to try with a little one that you love….
Don’t forget to like Kneading Life on Facebook or join my contact list for updates on posts and upcoming classes! Past classes have included Bread Basics, Sicilian Stuffed Breads, Traditional Hearth Breads, and Yeasted Sweat Breads!
I’m also available to work with your group! In the past I’ve done women’s retreats for church groups (bread has a long lineage of biblical reference!), photography workshops with teens (photographing their bread journeys!) and staff development (there’s no better way to get to know the people you work with that putting your hands together in dough!) Feel free to contact me for further information. My bio.