You probably would not suspect this of me, but I LOVE pop tarts. For reals! Loved them as a child, and always have a box or two in my pantry. Oh, and I never, ever toast them. Right out of the package for me. So, when I was tasked with a recipe challenge from Cape Cod Select to create a Healthy “Grab and Go” recipe, it was a no-brainer to create these Cranberry Ricotta Pop Tarts.
This is my last, and final submission for the Cape Cod Select Recipe Challenge. I created Shrimp Ceviche with Cranberry Jalapeño Granita for the “Cran-You-Believe-It” category and Ribs with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce for my “Family Dinner” submission.
Let me tell you a little bit about this recipe. To make life a bit easier on me, and you, I used store-bought pie crust from Pillsbury. There are many amazing recipes out their for homemade crust, and you may even have one of your own. Feel free to make your own dough. My thoughts were to make these as quick, and easy for everyone. In under 45 minutes, these beauties are done!
FOR THE CRANBERRY JAM
Preparing my own cranberry jam was a must. This process only took about 15 minutes. The flavor is incredible. In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the jam. Bring to a just under a boil at medium heat. Stir often to melt the sugar, and to ensure the mixture will not burn. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for another ten minutes.
Note the texture of the jam. If the jam needs a bit of thickening, incorporate a tiny bit of cornstarch slurry. Basically, combine a tablespoon of cornstarch to a teaspoon of water. With a whisk, slowly add a little bit of the slurry to the jam. You will not use it all. Just enough to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to thicken further as you prep the dough.
FILLING THE CRANBERRY RICOTTA POP TARTS
Using store-bought dough? Be sure to remove from fridge to come to room temperature as you are making the jam. Flour a flat surface and roll out the dough just a bit. The dough has to be thick enough to hold the contents of the filling. This recipe should yield about six to seven pop tarts.
Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. Cut the dough in 4″ x 6″ rectangles. Keeping in mind, you need a top and bottom. Poke holes with a fork in all of the tops. Lay a bottom piece of dough on a flat surface. Fill with a few spoonfuls of the cranberry jam. Place a few dollops of the ricotta cheese on top, then a touch more jam. Try and keep a clean edge for sealing.
Cover with a top piece of dough (the ones you poked holes into). Using the tines of a fork, press along the entire edge to seal the dough. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this process for the remaining dough.
Beat the egg in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the pop tarts with the egg wash. Bake for at least 8 to 10 minutes. May be a bit longer, depending on the heat of your oven. Once the pop tarts turn a golden brown, they are done. Place on cooling rack.
As the pop tarts are baking, this is totally optional, prepare the glaze. After tasting both ways, with and without the glaze, they were equally as good. After the pop tarts are transferred to the baking rack, place a piece of parchment underneath and drizzle on a bit of the glaze. This should be done right out of the oven while the pop tarts are warm.
HEALTHY ON THE GO
Looking for the perfect “Grab and Go” Breakfast? These Cranberry Ricotta Pop Tarts are definitely a healthier option as opposed to the packaged ones. So very easy and quick to prepare. Make a few batches and have a delicious breakfast for the entire week that your whole Family will ENJOY!