When Life Leaves you in a Jam – Make Pop Tarts. A Food in Jars Mastery Challenge

Almost half a century has past since the carefree Saturday mornings of my childhood but I can still remember the sweet yummy goodness of a pop tart fresh from the toaster like it was yesterday. As Bugs Bunny outsmarted Elmer Fudd on the tv, I would eat my pop tart carefully to avoid burning my lips on the sweet, sticky jam in the center of the pop tart. As part of this month’s challenge at Food in Jars, I had the opportunity to revisit the happy Saturday mornings of my childhood.

April’s challenge at Food in Jars has been to use up the preserves hanging out in our pantries. I have a lot of jam to use up before canning season starts in earnest and one of my new favorite ways to use up the dregs is to make these jam filled pastries using the Pop T*rt recipe by Jack Monroe.

I won’t recap how I made my pop tarts since Jack does an excellent job of explaining how to make them on her website. If you are looking for economical and tasty recipes, check out her site.

The Cost:

The pop t*rts made by Jack Monroe cost her 10p each – or $0.17 Canadian. My pop tarts, made using the same recipe ended up costing me a little more, ringing in at about $0.25 (14p) each. The table below sets what I spent making my tasty treat.

(April 2019)
$0.63 for shortening
$1.20 for butter
Plain Flour
because I used homemade 🙂
Icing Sugar

Total $1.94 for a batch of 8 or about $0.25 each.

Unlike Jack, I opted to use real butter in my pop tarts. Had I used vegetable shortening, I would have reduced the cost of my pop tarts by $0.57 and the entire batch would have cost me $1.37 or $0.17 each. However, the real savings came from using my own homemade strawberry jam. Had I used store bought jam, I would have added an additional $1.59 to each batch of pop tarts. This means that a batch of these homemade pop tarts would have cost me $3.53, or $0.44 each. Crazy, since the store bought pop tarts sell for $4.85 for a box of 8 or $0.60 for each pop tart.

What I Learnt:

One of the greatest lessons was that I save a fair bit of money making my own jam. I rely mainly on what I can grow myself or what I can find for a good price. Consequently, my jam costs me very little, which is a good thing as Strawberry Jam at my store costs a whooping $7.59 for a 500g jar.

Interestingly, I also learnt that groceries cost about as much here in the backwoods of BC, as they do in the UK. Once I converted £ to Canadian $, I found that the prices were not that much different.

Will I do this again?

I sure will. No question. Not only is this an inexpensive dish to make but it is very good. I was a little worried that the pastry would not be sweet enough and I was going to add a little sugar to the flour. I’m glad I didn’t as the jam and the icing provided enough sweetness. I should have rolled my pastry much thinner than I did so that the pop tarts would bake quicker and I could maximize my jam to pastry goodness. Despite this beginner mistake, my homemade pop tarts were a welcome addition to my lunch box. I can happily say that this recipe is a winner and it will be making a regular appearance at my house.

Jammy goodness with sprinkles


  1. These look wonderful, I have borrowed several of Jack’s cookery books and like her soup recipes especially. I might try these when I have more time ^_^


  2. Oh my goodness, you clever girl! My grands used to love pop tarts but have been complaining they don’t taste good anymore. Kids know when quality changes. I think some Na Na made pop tarts will be much better. Thanks for posting this.


  3. Those look really yummy! I didn’t grow up on Pop Tarts. I don’t even remember my Mom buying chips until I was in high school, and I know for certain that junior high or high school was when we had our first pizza. My grandma made it from a kit in a box. It’s crazy how each family does it different. My mom didn’t have us watch cartoons on Saturdays, either. If we were bored, she’d find us something to do…..CHORES! So, we didn’t complain (out loud). My husband, on the other hand, grew up like you and the rest of my friends–watching cartoons, etc.


    1. Nothing wrong with limiting junk food, that’s for sure. We only had cartoons on tv for a couple of hours. We only had two channels and at about 11:00 it was Stampede Wrestling and cartoons were over. My mom was never much of a cook, so pop tarts and Alphbet cereal were common.


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