September 23, 2015

Homemade Sugar Free, Low Carb Pop Tarts

If you don't count carbs and aren't worried about wheat products - use your favorite pie crust recipe to make these! So fun and yummy!

First:  I love how they turned out looking - So cute and fun - and yet healthy, since I used sugar free preserves and almond flour for the crust.

But basically - I was lazy and wanted the dough to be a little more easier to work with so I could go faster and I grabbed a product that lives in the back of my deep freezer because I don't like the taste of it - (Carbquik) - but low carb products are SO EXPENSIVE I won't throw it out and I use it in SMALL amounts in recipes where I can mask the taste.  It's not in the ingredient list... this is something I used to dust the dough and surfaces and worked into the dough to make it more sturdy so I could just whip this up like I would have with a regular wheat flour based crust... and it ruined the taste of the pastry for me enough that I don't like it.

But my husband liked these (because he is one of those people that can't taste the offending ingredient I added stupidly) and you can refrigerate them and pop them into the toaster just like the store bought versions.  (My icing melted just a bit in the center but not too bad!)   Because we don't have to do low carb for any particular health issue, and we can have carbs and wheat if we choose, I'm probably going to make these with a regular flour based crust (and sugar free fruit filling) next time - and when our kids are all back visiting.

If you don't have to worry about wheat products or carbs, please make these with a regular pie crust.  They are relatively quick and easy, are fun to make - and taste so much fresher than the store bought kind. 

Homemade Low Carb, Sugar Free Pop-Tarts

1 1/2 c Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour
4 T Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten or Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat and Gluten Flour
1 1/2  t xanthan gum
2 T Nature's Best Isopure Unflavored Whey Protein Powder
1 t baking powder
dash of salt
4 T cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks (save the whites)
2 T cold water
Egg white for brushing the pastries

Smuckers Sugar Free Preserves - Strawberry
1 c sweetener (confectioner's style preferred for smoothness) (I prefer Ideal Sweetener
heavy cream (2-5 tablespoons depending on how thin you want the icing)
sprnkles (optional)
For a Brown Sugar Version - omit the fruit and sprinkle heavily with Brown Sugar Substitute and Cinnamon

Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor bowl with (shortening if you've substituted any for some of the butter) and butter.  Pulse until it's coarse and crumbly.  Mix the egg yolks with the ice cold water and drizzle while pulsing but do not add all of it at once.  You might not need it all.  As soon as it starts to form a ball, stop adding any liquid.  Remove, place on plastic wrap, form a disk, wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into 4 balls, put 3 back to chill while you work with one. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment because it's sticky. When your dough is thin enough, trim the edges straight to a nice rectangle and cut 2 smaller rectangles out of the dough.  Transfer to a baking sheet (I didn't line mine because I wanted them to brown a little like real Pop Tarts but you can line yours with parchment if you wish.)

Brush the entire bottom halves of the pastry with left over egg white - all the way to the edge to help seal. Spread a tablespoon of filling over dough, leaving a space around edges. Take spatula and transfer a matching rectangular piece of dough to cookie sheet, flipping it over onto the bottom tart piece. Press together the edges gently with a fork to seal, if desired. Poke the tops once or twice to allow steam to escape while baking.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until they start to brown around the edges. Remove from oven, let cool about 2-3 minutes and temove pastries from cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack.

Mix the sweetener with the cream and a dash of vanilla. Whisk and add as much cream as you like depending if you want to ice the pastries or frost them.  Can sprinkle with colored sprinkles if you like. 

The pastry was perfect and delicious (taste tested the dough) until I did one thing to ruin the taste for me...   I decided to treat it like a 'regular' pie crust and dusted the parchment, grabbing a product I knew would work - but that I don't like.  A carbolose baking mix.

Carbquik Baking Mix
Some people LOVE this mix as it works so much like wheat based flour, you can make breads and biscuits out of it pretty well.  However, I found (after buying 2 versions of it) I cannot tolerate the taste of it.  I can taste it in anything it's used in and can't (won't) eat it.  So my baking mixes live in my deep freeze for emergencies.   I THOUGHT I could use it to toughen up this dough and help dust the parchment to make rolling and cutting easier and faster.  I THOUGHT I wouldn't be able to taste the carbolose flour and it would be fine.  I was WRONG.  I can taste it.  I have a STRONG aversion to the taste of Carbolose or Soy flours in my food and unfortunately, although my pastries turned out perfect and look great - I can taste the carbolose.  Many people can't taste it (my husband can't) so it's up to you if you want to use it to 'dust' or not.

When I make these again I will dust with something other than a carbolose baking mix (probably OAT flour - which I should have grabbed in the first place, but I was being lazy and this was right there). 

ALSO:  do not roll the pastry TOO thin.  I did that the first time to try to get 3 rectangles instead of 2 from the first batch of dough, and it was too thin and crumbly and hard to work with (which is partly when I started to think about adding baking mix - stupid me I should have just added another egg yolk and some oat flour).  By making 2 rectangles (for a total of 4 tarts) the dough was easier to transfer and work with.

Having said all that - my husband just popped one into the toaster and had it for breakfast with his coffee and LOVES them.  I thought it was ok but next time... no baking mix to dust.  Ha.

Stop processing when the dough pulls away from the sides

A great dough until I used carbolose  to dust - which I hate the taste of carbolose. I'm an idiot.

Love this filling. So fresh tasting!

Seal the edges

Baked until they start to turn golden brown

Here is a copy of the ingredients in the original store bought version complete with alllll those versions of sugar - I don't have the counts for this version but most of the products are 0-4 carbs and sugar free so....  there's that.  If you don't mind enriched flour, nor count carbs - use your favorite pie crust dough and sugar free jam to make an even closer version to the real thing... just healthier without preservatives or sugars.  Play with the recipes to make it your own.

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