Recipe: Gilmore Girls' Giant Pop-Tart
I don't know about you, but I could use a pleasant distraction these days. Luckily, those girls of Gilmore with the gift of gab are about to grace our tv screens once more. If you, like me, have seen every episode of Gilmore Girls far too many times (not there is such a thing as "too many"), you're probably also waiting with heavy anticipation for the Netflix special later this month.
I've been re-watching the series in preparation, not just for the new episodes, but to find inspiration for the recipe I knew I'd have to make because, duh. But here's the thing about Gilmore Girls: there's a lot of food! I mean, two of our main characters (kooky Sookie and crotchety Luke) make food for a living, and Lorelia and Rory are practically professional eaters, so there's something tasty on display in nearly every episode. How to choose? Create a Luke-style burger or one of Sookie's over-the-top desserts? Or re-create something from Emily's menu at one of the infamous Friday Night Dinners? There's too many options.
So, instead, I sort of wiped the slate clean and brought it back to our titular Gilmore Girls. Since the girls themselves almost never step foot in the kitchen, unless it's to the coffee maker, their own pantry and fridge are known for being fairly void of any food that's not leftovers from Luke's or Al's Pancake World (despite the name, Al serves international cuisine). But there is one exception: Pop-tarts! Most mornings that the girls are not at Luke's, we know they grab a pop-tart with their coffee on the way out the door. And when Rory has some classmates over to study, Lorelai creates a pop-tart appetizer like the good mom she is.
Now, obviously, the girls themselves would not be baking their own giant pop-tart, but this seemed like exactly the kind of thing Sookie would make for Lorelai's birthday or some other crazy Stars Hollow celebration.
Now, let's get to it! Copper boom!
Giant Strawberry Pop-Tart
1 Double Pie Crust, separated in 2 disks (as usual, I like to use America's Test Kitchen's recipe)
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Use 2 sheets of parchment paper and press them into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. You'll be baking your poptart in this dish, so make sure to fold the parchment in at the sides so you can see how far out you'll need to roll your pie crust.
Combine the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Remove one pie crust from the fridge and roll it out onto one of the parchment pieces, flour as necessary to keep your rolling pin from sticking. Once the crust is wide enough to cover the bottom of the baking pan, move it (parchment included), into the pan.
Roll out the second pie crust onto the 2nd piece of parchment. Once again - use the fold lines to help you see how far to roll out.
Use a slotted spoon to add your strawberries to the bottom pie crust (you should have some syrup left behind - you can discard it). Use the parchment paper to flip the second pie crust on top, then remove the parchment. Pinch the sides of the pop tart together, and use a fork to crimp all along the sides. Do your best to seal the sides well so that strawberry doesn't leak out, but obviously I failed at that and it still came out quite tasty.
Prick the top with a fork and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan, prick again with your fork and bake for 20 more minutes, or until crust starts to brown. Allow to cool completely before icing.
For icing: whisk together sugar, milk, vanilla and salt until you have a spreadable consistency. Pour onto your pop-tart and spread to the edges, then decorate with sprinkles.
Don't forget to to serve with an extra-large mug of coffee (add some nutmeg to the coffee grounds, if you're feeling fancy)!