When I was in middle school, breakfast often was eaten on the go, and very often meant raspberry poptarts. I’d unwrap the silver foil package and drop both poptarts in the toaster oven, and then brush my teeth and hair (using different brushes, of course), and pack my school bag.
My mom would have left for work about the time she woke me up, so I was responsible for getting myself fed and out the door. I’d carefully tear off two squares of paper towels, and wrap the hot raspberry tarts in them, and chew as I walked the half mile or so to school.
By the time I arrived at the middle school, I would be licking the frosting off the paper towel and my fingers, and head into home room class, high and jittery on sugar and chemical additives.
Man, I loved those poptarts.
When I was in my early 20s, before I had to go gluten-free for my health, I switched to the Nature’s Choice organic poptarts. I felt so virtuous about my decision to eat “healthy,” but I still scarfed down those poptarts the same way I had as a child.
Of course, when I first went gluten-free nine years ago, there wasn’t anything like this available.
And what was available, wasn’t a treat for the senses. So after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, I started developing my own recipes, but made them all gluten-free.
I hit upon a super tasty pie crust that was built with a blend of 5 different flours, plus additional ingredients. It is super flaky and buttery and delicious, and we still use it at Kyra’s Bake Shop today for all our pies, but it’s really finicky and difficult to work with. Plus, the millet flour in the crust starts to have a chemical reaction with the butter, and develops a cheesy-like scent and flavor, which means that you must bake or freeze that particular dough within 20 minutes of combining the ingredients.
- 1 1/4 cup cassava flour + more for rolling out, if needed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter or Spectrum Organic Shortening
- 1/2-3/4 cup water, depending on the humidity and weather. Should be a dough, and not a batter (plus more water for sealing the pastries together)
- 1/2 cup jam of choice
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water
- Optional: sprinkles or sanding sugar
- In the bowl of a food processor, mix together the cassava flour, sugar, xanthan gum, salt, and butter. Add the water and pulse to combine. You may need a tablespoon extra, if a dough does not come together.
- Preheat the oven to 425 and line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.
- Roll out half the dough using additional cassava flour, if needed to prevent sticking.
- Cut out desired shapes and sizes. You can easily reroll scraps (Add a little sprinkling of water if the dough is crumbling or hard to stick together).
- Using a flat pancake spatula, transfer the first batch of the cut pieces to the baking pans, and put a dollop of jam in the very center.
- Dip your clean finger into the extra quantity of water and run your finger around the edges of each pastry to dampen it. Using the spatula, cover the jammed pastry bottom with a second piece of pastry.
- Gently press down on the center of the pastry to gently smoosh the jam and spread it evenly onto the pastry bottom. Press your finger down around the edges to seal or crimp the pastry halves together. (I like to use a fork.)
- Bake until firm to the touch and golden brown, about 28 minutes.
- Let cool completely before glazing.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and water until smooth and shiny.
- Drizzle the glaze over each poptart pastry. Sprinkle with sanding sugar or sprinkles, if using.
- Let set until dry, about 30 minutes.