To call these magical little pockets of baked apples and cinnamon “pop tarts” doesn’t really do justice to the flaky pastry shell, warm apples, and wonderfully rich spiced frosting. But the rectangle shape DOES remind me of those toxic toaster tarts of my childhood. These Caramel Apple Pop Tarts are so easy and delicious – and are so fun to make together as a family- that they will soon become a favorite weekend breakfast tradition. I love making these Caramel Apple Pop Tarts with fresh apples, however you can really use ANY fruit filling or even a combination of fruit and cream cheese. Like most of the Inspired Mess recipes, this one can be personalized to your tastes, or to whatever fruit is in season. No matter what you fill them with, I promise they will be a new family favorite. They are perfect as a warm breakfast pastry,
Let’s Do This!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup cold butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1/4 cup ice water
- dash of salt
- 6 – 8 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 T cinnamon (more or less to taste)
- 1 T flour
- 2 T butter
- 3 T milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 t vanilla
- Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon (more or less to taste)
- Mix flour and salt together, then cut in the butter until the dough becomes crumbly. You should use a pastry cutter (you baking purists), however mine broke 2 years ago and I use my hands to mix it. It always turns out great, and my kids think it’s a blast to use hands as “mixers”. Plus, I always forget I need a pastry cutter when I place my weekly order for nothing important from Amazon.
- Add a little water, about a tablespoon at a time, until the dough can be formed into a ball and the crumbly texture is gone. The dough should be smooth and consistent throughout. Place it in the refrigerator for at least one hour. NOTE: The original recipe I used for this says to leave it in the refrigerator at least 4 – 24 hour. I think that’s nuts. I’ve never done that, and it feels like a rock after one hour. I’ve even made these without refrigerating the dough, and the pastry has been just fine.
- While the dough is chilling, mix up the apple filling. Toss the apples with sugar, flour, and cinnamon and adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes. In the past, I’ve included brown sugar and honey to the filling, and it adds a warm rich sweetness, especially when it’s cold outside!
- Once the filling is mixed and the dough is chilled through (again – I don’t think it needs to chill for an extended time), roll the dough out and cut to the shape you want. I like rectangles, but find your creativity gene and rock your favorite shape.
- After the top / bottom shapes are cut, spoon filling onto the bottom pastry, leaving space around the edge so you can crimp the top and bottom together. Put the top piece in place and press the edges together. You can use a fork to make a crimp pattern, or just use your finger. After the tart has been sealed, make slits in the top for the steam to escape. If you forget this step, your little tasty pop tart will explode and leak apple filling in the oven. It’s just not pretty.
- Bake at 350 until the edges are browned. Usually this takes about 20 minutes, but it depends on your oven and the amount of filling in the tarts. My oven is totally unreliable and my filling amount varies, so I don’t have a set time for baking. The 20 minute mark is pretty standard – but keep your eye on your tarts.
- After you take the tarts out of the oven, move them to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes. While they are cooling, make the caramel frosting:
- Melt butter in a saucepan, then mix in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and beat in 1/2 of powdered sugar. Once smooth, beat in remaining powdered sugar. Let cool slightly and stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Use a little extra milk to thin the frosting, if needed. ** I like to frost the tarts while they’re still WARM (not hot) so the frosting melts a bit and forms a nice glaze.
Be creative with the filling – find your family favorite! I’ve used peaches, raspberries, cherries, and blueberries. They are all wonderful. Pour a cup of tea, have a tart, and take a 10-minute break. You deserve it.
Please leave your comments, feedback and suggestions below! I’d love to hear from you! Remember to PIN this recipe to use again….and again!