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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

It's been years since I've tried a new Pop-Tart. It's not because, twenty plus years after our first encounter, I don't still love them, but rather because they went through a neon striped, in your face, made up berry Wildlicious phase which, like Yo Gabba Gabba!, made me shake my head and think, boy I do not get kids today.

Growing up I was a Frosted Strawberry gal (as Jamie astutely points out, "What is the point of unfrosted? They are beyond worthless") with the occasional S'mores indulgence. Still, it's been a while since I've even had one of my old standbys, so when I saw that there was a limited edition Pumpkin Pie flavor I thought, hey, it's about time. Pop Tart time.*

*To be totally accurate, it was also that I've been trying to hold off on eating all the fake pumpkin crap knowing that they're going to be disappointing, but when I saw the adorable box with its Charlie Brown-like color scheme and swirling autumn leaves I buckled. So shoot me.

Boy was it worth it. These rock. When I opened the foil wrapper, I discovered two familiar rectangles, each frosted with a white sheen of icing and autumn leaf-colored sprinkles. Around the edges was the border of plain pastry, the one that says, hey, this is a balanced treat.

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So this is actually the un-toasted version because uh, I couldn't wait to eat the toasted ones (rule no.1: do not let your toasted Pop-Tart get cold) but they look almost identical when toasted.

I plopped one in the toaster and within minutes my kitchen smelled like Pop-Tart—because every Pop-Tart smells the same in the toaster, like the scent at Subway sandwich shops that lets you know you've arrived. Like all Pop-Tarts, I'd recommend toasting these, though I did try one plain and it wasn't bad. Toasted, though, the edges of the pastry get golden brown and the interior filling heats up and becomes a little gooey.

Have you ever considered how the slightly wet texture of the filling is genius? Well I did. It makes it feel like your Pop-Tart is filled with something quasi-fresh, like a jam in the case of Strawberry, or real chocolate in the case of the S'mores. Here, the gooey orange filling nods just enough in the direction of real pumpkin pie.

So how did it taste? A little like pumpkin, actually! And a lot like pumpkin pie spice, but more along the lines of a nutmeg-y blend than a cinnamon bomb, which I much appreciated. There is actual pumpkin listed in the ingredients, to satisfy those of you who were crushed over the whole Starbucks pumpkin spice latte reveal. But it doesn't stop there; that flavor comes from real nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Pop-Tarts! Keeping it classy.

Underneath the spiced, this-is-definitely-related-to-pumpkin-pie flavor is the toasted pastry, sweet and a little dry, like a serviceable pie crust. In short, it's a sweet, pumpkiny, spiced, carb-y thing, and obviously what I want to eat for breakfast always.

Or at least until December 1. Gingerbread Pop-Tarts, where you at?


About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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