Giant Blueberry Pop Tart
Summer is all about having fun. It’s a time to run in the sprinklers, soak up the sun, and read a great book. You know the old saying, time flies when you’re having fun? Don’t let it get away from you. Have fun where you can. The more people you can get to join in, the better.
Make fun that’s shareable with this Giant Blueberry Pop Tart. A large-format version of the toaster pastries you loved as a kid, it’s perfect for potlucks, dinner parties or just sharing with your family. The super size makes it fun to slice up and share, and with it’s tender, flaky crust and sweet blueberry filling, I guarantee you it will disappear. It’s easy to make and would be especially welcome at any Fourth of July gathering whether you decorate it with red, white and blue sprinkles, or not.
Enlist the help of any school-age children you may now have on hand. They can safely use a butter knife to cut the butter, with you nearby, if needed. Let them spoon and level the dry ingredients for the pastry, help spread the jam, frost the finished pop tart, and of course, man the sprinkles.
Start by making the blueberry filling, or save a step and use your favorite jam. You can also use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches or nectarines. All of these have similar pectin levels and will thicken in the same amount of time. Match your filling with the same kind of fruit juice when you make your frosting. Make the jam a day ahead if you can, or do it the same day, as long as you allow enough time for it to cool and thicken. To help the filling cool quickly, spoon it into a small bowl, preferably stainless steel, placed inside a larger bowl filled with ice and water.
My jam ended up more like a thick syrup, possibly because I used frozen berries. I boiled it to death but it still failed to gel enough for a filling. I worked around this by using a slotted spoon to scoop and drain the berries before spreading them on the pastry. This worked like a charm, and it left me with a generous amount to use as a delicious pancake syrup.
You can make the dough entirely by hand. Use your fingers to press the butter into the flour, being careful not to overwork, until you have pea-sized pieces. Your mixture should look fairly ragged at this point. Add just enough water that it holds your dough together. The first time I made this, it took 6 tablespoons, but the next time, it took eight. Not over-hydrating is the key to keeping your dough tender and flaky. After rolling, a bench scraper will help you make even, not perfect, edges. This is home baked and that’s what makes it special.
Stay up too late. Gaze at the stars. Buy some fresh flowers. Pack a picnic and linger on the blanket for awhile. Get out there and soak up all the summer fun you can.
Giant Blueberry Pop Tart
- 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5-6 Tablespoons ice water
- 1 pound fresh blueberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- all-purpose flour, for rolling
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon blueberry syrup (from jam)
- 3-4 Tablespoons sprinkles
Make the dough
Dice butter by cutting each stick lengthwise into quarters and then dicing into cubes. Transfer cubes to refrigerator. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Toss butter into dry mixture to evenly coat, then press between your fingers to create pea-size pieces of butter.
Slowly drizzle water over dough while stirring with a fork, just until mixture holds together when pinched between your fingers. Gather dough with your hands, adding water a tablespoon at a time only if needed, until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half, shaping each half into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Make the jam
Combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, mashing some of the berries with a spoon or using a potato masher. Cook until jam thickens (similar to the consistency of honey), about 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon jam into a heatproof bowl and let cool completely. Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 4 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first piece of dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Place rolled dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator. Roll out second piece of dough, then fold dough 3 or 4 times into a roll, lightly flouring if necessary. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Remove baking sheet from refrigerator. Spread blueberry jam evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border; brush border with egg wash. Top with second sheet of dough, pressing edges to seal. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Brush top of dough with egg wash, then prick all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown and bubbling in the center, 45 to 50 minutes. Place baking sheet on a wire rack and let cool completely.
Make the glaze
In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, lemon juice and blueberry syrup until smooth and pourable. Add more milk as needed to thin out. Spoon glaze over top of cooled pastry, then top with sprinkles. Let glaze set for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.