Pop-Tart Apple Crumble, 1971 – A Vintage Recipe Test

Posted on Oct 18 2017 - 7:17am by RetroRuth

This week we are taking advantage of apple season by covering sliced apples with Pop-Tarts!


This is Apple Crumble!

Apple Crumble
  • 4 brown sugar cinnamon toaster pastries (Pop-Tarts_
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cups of peeled, sliced apples (or a 1 lb 4 oz can of pie-sliced apples)
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Break toaster pastries into a bowl and add melted butter. Crumble with a fork into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Combine apples and remaining ingredients in lightly buttered 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling.
  3. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) about 40 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Apple Crumble Kay Kellogg's Creative Cookery 1971

This recipe is from, Kay Kellogg’s Creative Cookery that was published in 1971. And when they say creative, they aren’t kidding.

But I love Pop-Tarts, especially the brown sugar flavor. So I was willing to give this one a whirl. I mean, who doesn’t want a chance to eat kid’s food that they have no business buying as adults?

I mean…a chance to test recipes. For science.


I am proud to say I did NOT sneak a bite of these before I smushed them. Though I’m pretty sure Alex did.


Reduced to crumbs, which would not have been possible if not for the addition of butter. So don’t skip that step.


Since it is apple season, I used fresh baking apples. I know I’m not supposed to sub, but I don’t know if they sell canned plain apples anywhere near me. And I’m not buying canned apple pie filling.  I may secretly yearn for lots of processed foods, but canned apple pie filling is not one of them.

Canned cherry pie filling, on the other hand….


Finished and topped with Pop-Tarts!


And here it is fresh from the oven. I probably should have used more flour mixed with the apples, because mine ended up a bit on the runny side. Not too bad, though. It was probably because I used fresh apples vs. canned.



“How is it?”

“I’m confused. Why would I want to eat this over regular apple crisp?”

The Verdict: Meh.

From The Tasting Notes –

This was fine. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it wasn’t bad, either. It was, as we expected, on the very sweet side. The Pop-Tarts actually worked well, because they are basically pie crust with cinnamon goo in them. So they were perfect to top apples. The only thing I would change would be to add the Pop-Tart topping halfway through the cooking instead of at the beginning. The crust on the Pop-Tarts became browned to brittleness and the filling caramelized to a crunchy degree that wasn’t totally pleasant if eaten right out of the oven. Since my crumble was a bit on the runny side, after it sat in the fridge overnight it absorbed some of the juice and softened up quite a bit, so I think when you eat the finished crumble should dictate when you add the topping. But if you are home, hungry for apple crumble and only have Pop Tarts for the topping, know that everything will work out just fine.

Plus, Pop-Tarts.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kate from Iowa October 18, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

    If you need canned apples (or pretty much any other plain canned fruit) and can’t find them, just remember that during/as a part of the canning process, the fruit is cooked under pressure in the can. Apples only take a few minutes in the pressure cooker, and you have the “canned apple” texture (though if you just go ahead and sauté them in butter with a little cinnamon they taste a lot better.)

  2. zydny October 18, 2017 at 9:02 am - Reply

    The problem I see here is that you were working with a product that is very different from what it was 46 years ago. Originally, Pop Tarts did Not have icing. That one change is substantial and it explains easily why your version is too sweet. Also the “pastry” (if we can call it that) had a texture that was a bit more like actual pastry than the cheap doughy junk that is made now. Old-style Pop Tarts weren’t too bad. I wouldn’t even touch the current version.

  3. Angela October 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    The pictures aren’t coming up for me. I tried two browsers. It just says “IMG”.

    Anyone else have that problem? The other pages on the website are fine.

    I haven’t had pop tarts in forever. I do feel like it’s one of those foods that you just shouldn’t eat…lol. I remember loving the chocolate ones when I was a kid. I’d eat all around the frosting, then eat the frosting last.

  4. Erika November 19, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Try apple pie filling. And we always used Archway soft oatmeal cookies, ripped into tiny bits and spread all over. Baked until bubbly and everyone thought we slaved for hours in the kitchen!!!!

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