Friday, February 25, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Toaster Pastries

Continuing on in my quest to make homemade versions of pop culture favorites, I tacked the Pillsbury Toaster Strudel.
This is like the "pop tart" but instead, is kept frozen and popped in the toaster producing a warm pastry.  Pillsbury's comes in many flavors, including strawberry, blueberry, banana split, strawberry and cream, apple and cinnamon.  I think they might have had a chocolate variety at one time as well.

The Pillsbury strudel is a sweetened pastry outside with a super sugary filling.  Each box comes with tiny containers filled with an powdered sugar glaze that you thaw and squeeze onto the hot pastry.

My version came out well.  Jon even thought they were better than Pillsbury's strudel!  Quite the compliment as he likes those too.
I made the pastry in the evening and wrapped it in plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge overnight.  It was a very easy dough to make, especially since I used the food processor.  Simply measure the dry ingredients, place in the food processor and then add the butter and the dry ingredients.  It is more of a pie crust than a cookie, but it is not sweet.  I think it makes the filling really stand out.

I made two fillings: strawberry jam and cinnamon sugar.  I cooked down 2/3 cup strawberry jam, mashing any remaining berries so that it was smooth.  Let it cool and refrigerate before assembling the pastry.  Any jam can be used depending on the flavor you want.
The cinnamon filling was just 4 parts flour, 6 parts brown sugar and 2 parts cinnamon.  4 T flour, 6 T brown sugar and 2T cinnamon. Make the fillings ahead of time.

Pastry - modified from King Arthur Flour

2 1/4 cups flour
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
2 sticks cold butter
1 egg
2 T milk

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl.  Set aside.
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Pulse in butter.  Keep mixing until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Add egg mixture and pulse about 10 seconds until mixture forms a ball inside the food processor.  Remove from processor, press into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap and set in the fridge.
When ready to make the pastries, set the oven to 400.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Crack another egg in a small bowl and whip it with a fork.  Set it aside with a pastry brush.
Cut dough in thirds and work with one third at a time.  Roll it out and trim the ends so it forms a square (or rectangle).  Set the cut off ends aside to re roll again.  (I placed mine in the fridge while I prepared the pastries).

 Cut the rectangle into and even number of rectangles.  Move half of them to a baking sheet.  Add your toppings, leaving a 1/2" edge on all sides.  Paint the beaten egg on the 1/2" edge and seal with a second piece of pastry. Crimp edges with a fork.
 Alternately, you can only add the filling on half the side, add the beaten egg and fold pastry in half.  Then, crimp the edges with a fork.  (Tip: if using cinnamon filling, use far more than you would expect.  The sugar mixture cooks down and practically disappears inside the tart.)
 Brush beaten egg on top of the pastry and bake.  Small ones (3"x2") took about 17 minutes to crisp up nicely.  Larger ones take longer.
 And here they are.
 Yummy little pastries, perfect for afternoon tea, coffee or a morning breakfast treat.

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