There is a newfound sense of pride that I get when my kids love something I made for them. Whether it’s a craft, gift, or something tasty to eat, their smiles of approval make my heart want to burst. A lot of the meals and treats are a hit with them, but I really knocked it out of the park this time. I made homemade pop tarts in our air fryer oven and I pretty much have created a new family favorite.
A few weeks ago we made a trip to our favorite Strawberry Farm and we came home with more strawberries than we knew what to do with. Totally by choice might I add. First, I made muffins- good but not a hit. We ate the strawberries whole, tossed them in smoothies, topped our french toast with them- and we still had MORE.
A strawberry pie was the obvious choice but some days I feel like being extra and I want to make something DIFFERENT. Cue in the homemade pop tarts! My kids love pop tarts and I love trying to create homemade versions of their favorite treats. We recently got a new stove which has been the reason for my increased baking and cooking adventures- even heat distribution is seriously the best thing EVER!
I AM FAR FROM AN EXPERT BAKER!
I need you to know this, I consider my baking skills to be somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate. My baking has consistently gotten better as I have become consistent about practicing it. And trust me when I say this recipe is SOOO easy. To make it even easier, because hello 4 kids, I use pre-made refrigerated pie crusts instead of making the dough from scratch. No shame here!
What you will find below are cute Mickey-shaped homemade pop tarts because well, I wanted to be really extra haha! you can choose any other cookie cutter you would like or cut any shape freehand. The Mickey shape just added a little oomph to my presentation and was a total hit with my kids, usually anything Mickey shaped is!
Air Fryer Homemade Pop Tarts
Making the Syrup
The lengthiest process is probably turning the strawberries ignto a tasty and soft strawberry syrup. LENGTHIEST not DIFFICULT! To turn it into a syrup you will need to chop your strawberries then mix them with sugar and let them rest for about 15 minutes. After those 15 minutes you will pop them in and out of the microwave for about 10 minutes mixing in-between rounds.
*Do not microwave for longer than 45 seconds at a time.
It is very important that you let the syrup cool fully, about 30 minutes, to allow to thicken nicely.
Preparing the Pie Crust
I sure love to be extra but I also love to be realistic about what I can get done. To save me time I always have refrigerated pie crusts on hand! Just make sure you bring both the pie crusts out for about 15 minutes to come to room temperature before you try to roll them out.
I learned the hard way that if you try to roll them out too soon they will crack. Don’t forget to lightly flour the surface you will be rolling the pie crusts onto. Once my crusts were rolled out I brought out my cookie cutter and began making adorable Mickey cutouts. Remember you will need 2 cutouts per pop tart so cut them in pairs. This is where my assistant, Lia, joined the kitchen!
Assembling the Homemade Pop Tarts
The assembly party can be tricky and messy. After we had cut all out Mickey cutouts i began by placing a few spoonfuls of the syrup and strawberries onto the center of the shape. Remember to leave enough space around to seal. I did have some of the syrup overflow when I added the second crust and ooze out but no big deal at all!
To seal the two crusts I simple pressed around it, you can use egg to help. To give it a nice little design and help with the sealing process I pressed my fork to the outer edges all along. Such a simple design and so easy to make! You will repeat these same steps until you make all your pop tarts.
Once you are done you will spray both sides of your pop tarts with cooking spray before putting them in the air fyer
Cooking the Pop Tarts
For this recipe I went with the air fryer option of our new stove vs traditional baking. I wanted the pop tarts to be soft on the inside but have a nice fried crisp to the outside. This new feature has been something I have been using a lot.
To catch any type of crumbs from the pop tarts I added a foil-lined cookie sheet as a catch pan under my air fryer baskets. With the air fryer make sure you are checking your pop tarts frequently.
Making the Pop Tart Glaze
The glaze is so easy to make! You whisk together the lemon juice and the powdered sugar until it is smooth. Then simply pour over your cooled pop tarts and top with sprinkles!
My Kid’s Thoughts on My Homemade Pop Tarts
They were a huge hit. They were devoured in one sitting and the one that was left for later was then split. I love having pie crusts on hand for fun recipes like this one! They loved them so much I’m sitting here wondering what filling to try next! Stay tuned! Enjoy!