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Pop Tarts: Don't Buy Them, Make Them from Scratch

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There's a strong DIY wind blowing through Brooklyn, as a recent New York Magazine article about the borough's artisanal food makers noted. It blew through my kitchen window the other night.

Armed with the new book, Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by food blogger Alana Chernila, I baked up homemade PopTarts©.

I had a disc of pie dough chilling in the back of the fridge. It was from a batch I had made after reading former New York Times restaurant reviewer Sam Sifton's article about the pies at The Dutch, and how pastry chef Kierin Baldwin adds an egg yolk to her dough. I rolled it out, cut it into funky, free-form rectangles -- this was at 9:45 PM -- and dropped spoonfuls of strawberry rhubarb jam onto half of them. I married them with their other, non-jammy halves, sealed the edges with the tines of a fork, brushed the little uncooked pastry with a wash of egg and water, and popped them in a 375° F oven for 20 minutes.

Yep, as promised, better than the boxed ones.

There's a whole movement afoot to outdo Kellogg's, Kraft and the Keebler Elves. Deb Perelman at says she has a "longstanding affair" with making from scratch processed food that got its start in a lab. She has replicated Oreos© and goldfish crackers, among other store-bought staples. blogger Jennifer Reese, author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, used her unemployed status to figure out what was worth purchasing at the grocery store and what was worth making at home. It's modern homesteading, spurred by gnawing anxieties about what's in our food, a desire to slow down and connect with a craft and, in Alana's case, economic necessity.   

What are you willing to make at home, rather than dash to the store to buy? What's the best store-bought item you've replicated in your kitchen? Please share!