Monday, June 18, 2012

Cherry Mania

By now I am sure you have all had it with my cherry posts.  If not, read on!  Now that I have my true loyal readers I will let you know what I've been up to with my twelve pounds of cherries.  First I made the crisp.  Then for Father's Day, except we celebrated Saturday, I made Patrick ribs.  I never make ribs but I made them and not only did I make them but I made cherry BBQ sauce.  Well I cheated and didn't make the sauce from scratch but I bought my favorite no high fructose corn syrup sauce and added pureed cherries into it.  Basted the ribs over and over again.  They were pretty good.  Then Sunday I made jam.  I like to make my own jam whenever possible.  A few reasons for this is high fructose corn syrup.  As most of you know, HFCS is in everything now.  It is very hard to find jams, preserves and jellies made with sugar.  Even the sugar free kind is made with aspartame, even worse!!  I find some good jams at Cost Plus World Market and also at this barn that sells fresher produce and during the summer local produce.  If given the chance though I like to make my own.  Not only do I make sure it is cane sugar in my jam but I dictate how much, which is usually less than other people use.  So I made some jam.  I didn't can it though because I was just going to use it for my pop tarts.  Which I made today!

I love pop tarts, but hate how horrible the store bought kind are for your health as you might remember, I blogged about it a couple years back.  I even gave you a recipe for them that I got off of Smitten Kitchen's blog.  I made some chocolate ones.  Well this time I made cherry pop tarts.  Not only did I make cherry pop tarts that were so so so so good but they are soy, dairy and egg free!  (I am amazing!)  ;)  If you have been following me I was on a very restrictive diet for the baby and am now able to eat anything.  However, I still am trying to avoid most dairy and like to substitute to make things healthier even more than I did before.  Today I decided to play around with an already fabulous recipe and try to change it.  Here is my new recipe.

Soy, Dairy and Egg Free Pop Tarts

Jam Filling:
3/4 cup jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 tablespoon cold water mixed (TIP: cornstarch and flour mix better with cold water as opposed to hot.)

Put both jam and cornstarch water mixture into pot over medium heat.  Bring to boil and let simmer for a few minutes stirring until thickened.  Turn off heat and let cool.

The jam with the cornstarch before mixing.


2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup Earth's Balance soy free butter substitute (Butter if you don't care about being soy/dairy free)
1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with three tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dairy free milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

In a small bowl mix the ground flax seed meal with the 3 tbsp water and let sit.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter substitute or butter cut into small pats.  Mush with hands until dough is crumbly but sticks together when squeezed.  Now add the flax seed meal and milk.  Mix together with a wooden spoon.  If your kitchen is warm place the dough in plastic wrap into the fridge to cool it off.

When ready roll out dough and cut into desired shapes.  I used a small Ikea bowl to make the shape I wanted.  You could do circles or rectangles too.  Place one cut shape onto your lightly greased baking sheet.  Because I was doing egg free, using my finger I dabbed a bit of water all around on the edge of the dough.  Place a dollop or two of jam in the middle.  Place another piece of dough on top and seal the edges together.  Using a fork, poke some holes onto the top to let the steam rise out while baking.  You can crease your edges or not.

Place in fridge and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Once preheated take the pop tarts out and bake for 20 -25 minutes.  Take out and PLEASE wait to bite into one.  It will be soooooo tempting to just take a big bite, but then your mouth will be on fire and you will end up either burning your esophagus, because you swallowed so fast, or spitting out a perfectly good piece of pop tart.  So wait, and then you can enjoy the entire tart.

London, Lucca and I were on our way out the door but had to wait for these babies to get out of the oven.  I grabbed a quick picture of the pop tart finished, super duper hot and on a paper plate in my car.  It's not the most elegant picture of the finished product but if only you could taste through picture you wouldn't care.  :)

London and I enjoyed these and we agreed they tasted like personal cherry pies.  So yummy.  And remember if you only want to bake a few you can freeze the rest, pre-made but not baked, in between wax paper and in a plastic bag.  Then when you want one or two you can take them out of the freezer and place into the oven to bake.  Or bake them all, place them on a plate and watch them disappear faster than it takes you to wash all the dishes and clean the counters off.  Freeze them, they'll last longer.  :)

(Off the topic of pop tarts, tonight for dinner I made pork chops.  I used a red wine as the liquid and some cut up cherries and it came out divine.  One of the many uses for cherries.)

I think I am done blogging about cherries.  What will my next topic be about?  Stay tuned!


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