Giant Strawberry Toaster Pastry Recipe

My friend is obsessed with strawberry Pop-Tarts, so I made a giant one for his birthday. I tinkered with the filling, including freeze-dried strawberries gave it more tartness than you get from the grocery-variety toaster pastry, and this version has a lovely, flaky pastry crust. Kids and adults alike devoured this! If you like sweet and tart, this is the recipe for you.

This is my final article for Sauce Magazine. I am leaving St. Louis after nine years living here and five years writing for this wonderful magazine, which has been the highlight of my time here. Thank you to everyone who has read my recipes or tried them. I love you all!

Giant Strawberry Toaster Pastry
Adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe 
1 9-by-13-inch pastry

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into small pats
2 Tbsp. milk
1 beaten egg
4 oz. frozen strawberries
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. plus a splash of vanilla extract, divided
2 oz. plus freeze-dried strawberries
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. warm water, divided
½ cup powdered sugar
Sprinkles, for decorating

• Prepare the crust by mixing the flour, ½ tablespoon granulated sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Use your hands or a pastry blender to mix in the butter, egg and milk into a cohesive dough. Do not overmix. 

• Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. 

• Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the frozen strawberries, the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons vanilla and stir occasionally until the sugar is melted and the strawberries are soft. 

• Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the freeze-dried strawberries. Pulse a few times, adding up to ¼ cup water to loosen the mixture slightly until it reaches a paste-like consistency. Taste and adjust as needed, but keep the filling on the tart side. 

• Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let rest 15 minutes. Line a 9-by-13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper. 

• On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the two dough rounds into 2 9-by-13-inch rectangles ¼-inch thick. 

• Place 1 rectangle on the sheet pan. Evenly spread the filling across the dough, then place the second dough rectangle atop the filling, covering it entirely. 

• Use a fork to press down all sides of the dough to seal the edges, then prick the top to allow steam to release while baking. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

• Bake 30 to 35 minutes, rotating once halfway through to ensure it bakes evenly, until the edges are golden-brown and the top is browned. Let cool completely. 

• Make a glaze by stirring together the powdered sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon warm water and a splash of vanilla, adding more water as needed to loosen or more powdered sugar to thicken. The glaze should set once it cools. 

• Spread the glaze evenly atop the pastry. Garnish with powdered freeze-dried strawberries or sprinkles. Let cool before serving.

Amrita Song is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who blogs at A Song in Motion