Apple Cider Pop Tarts
Apple cider is basically fall in a mug, and while apple desserts are quite common, apple cider desserts are harder to come by. So I took apple pop tarts to the next level with these delicious homemade Apple Cider Pop Tarts. These easy homemade pop tarts are filled with a homemade apple jam and topped with a homemade caramel apple cider frosting. And they are surprisingly simple to make!
Why this recipe works
Homemade pop tarts are the best pop tarts because you can put as much frosting on top as you want…or as little frosting as you want, but we only eat frosted pop tarts around here! These crazy good pop tarts are essentially a pie crust filled with apples and apple cider combined with the ultimate fall spices, boiled into a jam, and then topped with a caramel and apple cider combo. What’s not to love?!
Ingredients and notes
Apple Cider – Apple cider serves as the liquid in the jam, which helps contribute to the final texture. The liquid cookes with the fruit and reduces to a thick, jam-like texture that makes for a perfect pop tart filling. You should be able to use another liquid here, but the apple cider also helps to give this recipe it’s perfect fall flavor!
Apples – As the apples cook, they will soften and can be mashed into the apple cider to give a bit of texture and consistency to the jam filling while also adding flavor. The small pieces of fresh fruit almost make this feel like an apple pie pop tart!
Pie Crust – There are a lot of options for making the crust, but I think pie crust pop tarts are the way to go! This keeps the recipe super simple, and has the perfect texture and flavor for a pop tart crust. You can use a store bought crust, or make your own pie crust from scratch, or you could use another pastry dough of your choosing, just note that bake times may differ depending on the type of crust used.
How to make this recipe
Combine all jam ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. While you don’t want the pot too full to be able to stir, the ingredients will reduce as they cook so you don’t need too big of a pot!
This mixture will sit on the heat for about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally throughout this process, and mash the apples with a potato masher or fork when they are soft enough to do so. Otherwise, you can just let this sit on the heat with an occasional stir!
Once the mixture has reduced to a jam-like consistency, remove from heat and let cool completely.
Prepare your pie crust. If using store-bought, defrost according to package directions. Note that if you keep it in the refrigerator instead of the freezer, it will still need to sit out 10-15 minutes before unrolling.
Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix 1 cup of the cooled apple jam with cornstarch.
Roll out the pie crust into a square, then cut into three long rectangular strips, about 3″ wide.
Spoon the jam into the center of one half of each strip, leaving the edges uncovered.
Brush the edges with egg, and then fold the strip in half so that the empty side of the strip folds over top of the jam. Seal the edges with your fingers, and then press edges with a fork. Place on prepared pan.
Repeat for each strip. Then brush the top of each pop tart with egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Combine all icing ingredients, adjusting the measurements as needed to get the flavor and consistency you’re looking for. If it’s too thin, add a little bit more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more apple cider.
Spoon the glaze over the cooled pop tarts, let set, then enjoy!
If you’re following this recipe, as long as your jam has reduced and thickened and is not runny and watery, the pop tart crust will not get soggy. The egg glaze over top of the top of the pop tarts before baking should create a bit of a crust that will prevent the icing from making the crust soggy, however you do want your topping to be a thicker glaze, you do not want it to be runny or watery either!
Unlike an apple pie, a pop tart is filled with a jam-like filling, not a full fruit filling. While you do not bake apples before putting them in a pie, you do want to make the apple jam to fill the pop tart. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an apple pie instead of an apple pop tart!
I cut them into approximately 1/4″ – 1/2″ cubes. They don’t have to be completely uniform since you’ll be mashing them up, but if they are somewhat similar sized they should soften around the same time making them easier to mash all at once.
Tips & Tricks
- I used nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to make the jam, but feel free to get creative with whatever fall spices excite you!
- If you can’t get your pie crust to roll into a square shape, after rolling, just cut off the edges of the circle and you have a (close enough) square!
Did you try this recipe? Review and comment below, and share a photo on Instagram and tag @flourdeliz!
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Apple Cider Pop Tarts
- Rolling pin (or similar – a wine bottle or can of nonstick spray will do the trick!)
- Baking sheet
- Silicone spatula (a wooden spoon works too!)
- 3 cups apple cider
- 3 apples chopped
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 box roll-out pie crusts
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 2 tablespoons Apple Jam
- 1 tablespoon caramel sauce
- Combine the apple jam ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
- During heating, stir occasionally, and when the apples are soft enough, use a potato masher (or a fork) to mash up the apples.
- Continue heating until the mixture has reduced to a jam-like consistency. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour total.
- Once reduced, remove from heat and let cool.
- Defrost pie crust according to package directions. Note that if you keep it in the refrigerator instead of the freezer, it will still need to sit out 10-15 minutes before unrolling.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix 1 cup of cooled apple jam with the cornstarch.
- Roll out the pie crust, into a square if you can (or cut off the edges of the circle).
- Cut into strips about 3″ wide.
- Spoon the jam onto one half of each strip, leaving the edges uncovered.
- Brush the edges with egg, and then fold the strip in half so that the empty side of the strip folds over top of the jam. Seal the edges with your fingers, and then press edges with a fork.
- Brush the top of each poptart with egg and bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Cool completely.
- Combine all icing ingredients, adjusting the measurements as needed to get the flavor and consistency you’re looking for.
- Spoon the icing glaze over cooled poptarts.
- Let the icing set, then enjoy!
This post was updated in August 2021 with additional information about the recipe.