Pastry Chef Meegan Roberts
For these housemade pop tarts, pastry chef Roberts creates a fruity filling composed of pureed watermelon, lime juice and eggs. She encloses the curd-like mixture in a pastry crust and frosts it with pink icing. The whimsical, portable treats would appeal to everyone from K-12 students to millennials and seniors.
2 cups diced watermelon, pureed in blender
½ cup lime juice
6 egg yolks (reserve whites)
¾ cup sugar
4 tbsp. cornstarch
9 tbsp. cold butter, diced
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, diced
2 tsp. salt
½ cup ice water
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. milk
2 drops red food color
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
1. In small, heavy saucepan, combine watermelon puree and lime juice; bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, place egg yolk in mixing bowl. Combine sugar and cornstarch; whisk mixture into egg yolks.
3. Temper the simmering liquid into the egg yolk and cornstarch mixture. Return mixture back to the saucepan; cook over medium-low heat while whisking constantly until one or two bubbles form. Strain immediately into a clean bowl.
4. Whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until all the butter is incorporated. Cool completely and transfer to an airtight plastic container. Store up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
5. To prepare salt crust, combine cold butter, salt and flour in a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Run on low speed until butter is pea sized. Add ice cold water all at once; mix gently until dough is just combined.
6. Transfer dough to floured surface. Roll dough out as thin as possible (about the size of a half sheet pan and keeping a rectangular shape). Place the dough onto backside of a sheet pan and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
7. Preheat oven to 350 F. Once dough is chilled thoroughly and set, continue to roll out on floured work surface to approximately 12 by 24 inches. Cut into 24 rectangles 3 by 4 inches each.
8. Place 2 tablespoons watermelon curd into very center of each pastry rectangle. Brush edges with some of reserved egg whites and top with an additional square. Use a fork to crimp sides and seal in filling. Repeat for remaining tarts.
9. Bake tarts in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cool completely.
10. For glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and food coloring in bowl until mixture is smooth. If the mixture seems too thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Drizzle the glaze over cooled tarts and garnish with the chocolate chips. Serve at room temperature.
Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board