Some friends of mine, sorting through things during their move, were kind enough to think of me when they stumbled upon an old Amy Vanderbilt cookbook.
They were eager to show me the illustrations inside, and while they flipped through the pages I tried to imagine what glorious drawings it might hold.
Hmm. I wasn’t impressed, to say the least.
But wait, they told me! Look:
Yeah. No kidding, folks. Pre-fame, even Mr. Warhol had to make a living. Now I was impressed.
Although it isn’t worth very much monetarily (after a little looking around), it’s still a fun piece of history, and a functional book. Not to mention, a seriously cool gift – thank you, friends!
Besides helping friends move, and lathering my burned arm with Neosporin and aloe, I haven’t had the time to do much.
Thanks again to my friends for the giant aloe plant!
I did, however, manage to make a valiant attempt at homemade poptarts. Don’t get me wrong, I make some mighty fine poptarts, but this time I got a little ambitious with the filling. More filling is always a good thing, right? Right?
Poptarts, minus the box
It starts with:
One pie crust – in this case homemade, but store bought would work as well (for more detailed instructions on my awesome flaky crust, go to my post Pie Crust and Plush Toys)
Jam – in this case my blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry – but use whatever you like
And a couple of optional spices – I added a bit of cinnamon and vanilla to the blueberry ones, and a pinch of orange zest to the strawberry.
For the tops I made an entirely optional glaze of 50-50 butter and sugar, plus cinnamon for the blueberry ones. I mashed this all together with a fork until it was smooth and spreadable. (The crust is tender and flaky enough that it wouldn’t suffer without this step. Or, alternatively, a simple frosting could be made of powdered sugar and a few drops of milk or water, then applied after baking like you would to a Toaster Strudel.)
I started by mixing together all the jams, along with any spices, and setting them aside.
Then I rolled out the crust, thinner than I would for a pie, and cut it into an even number of rectangles. From one crust (half of a full recipe) I was able to get four 4×5 inch rectangles.
I then filled one rectangle with about 3-4 TBSP filling. This is where I went wrong – I suggest using closer to 1-2 TBSP filling, especially if you have a somewhat loose jam or jelly, or else you’ll wind up with an oozy (but still delicious) mess when you’re done.
Then, using a second rectangle of dough, cover the first(stretching as necessary to make it fit) and pinched down the sides. After making sure there was a nice tight seal, I went around the edges with a fork, crimping for good measure.
While I worked on one, I kept the rest of the dough in the fridge to keep it chilled.
I then spread on the butter/sugar mixture, with the help of a rubber spatula, and wrapped each one individually in plastic wrap and put in the freezer.
You want them to be frozen all the way through before you bake them, this way the filling and the crust can cook evenly. It should take a couple hours for them to chill solid, or you can keep them in the freezer for future use.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375f., and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.
Remove the poptarts from their plastic wrap and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and bubbly.
Let cool 5-10 minutes before devouring.
(Or, you can under-bake slightly, let the cool completely, re-wrap in plastic or seal in baggies, and store in the fridge or freezer to be reheated in a moment’s notice at a later date. I do not recommend, however, putting them in the toaster the way you would a regular pop tart, as oozage is a serious concern.)
Now, mine may have oozed all over the place, but that didn’t make them any less delicious. So why ‘Poptarts and Profanity’, you ask? Because, after letting them cool on the tray for a bit, and thinking that the oozing was over, I transfered them to my mis-en-place studio to snap a shot only to have the strawberry one ooze it’s bright red juices all over my crisp white napkins. *Sigh* – I should’ve seen this coming.
Still. Totally worth it.