School lunches are so much more fun when you include a special homemade dessert! We love to make these mini lunchbox apple pies on the weekend so everyone can enjoy them all week long!
But before I dive into the recipe- let me share with you a few lunch packing tips!
There is no doubt that when you are preparing lunches for a half-dozen kids- it is time consuming and quite frankly a bit tedious day after day. I find that the whole process comes together much more smoothly when I follow these tips:
#1- Plan your lunches in advance
Every Sunday night I sit down with the school hot lunch menu and find out if any of my kids plan to purchase the school lunch for the coming week. For every day that they would like to pack a lunch from home (which is most days for most kids!), we plan what their entree will be, and we write it down on the school lunch calendar. That way, I can see in one place- who is buying, who is packing lunch, and what I need to prepare for that day.
#2- Prepare the fruit, chips, snack, and water bottles the night before
I like to have the kids pull all of this together while I am making dinner and they are helping out and setting the table.
#3- Prepare the entree in the morning when cooking breakfast
Since my kids head out the door in 2 waves- I prepare lunches for my elementary schoolers right after I make breakfast for my middle schooler. The house is pretty quiet at this point, as the younger five are still asleep, so it is easy for me to focus on the task at hand and just get it done!
#4- Get the kids to help!
I find that my kids like to help pack up their lunch items and pick out their snacks. It allows them to share in some decision making (even though I am still looking over their selections to make sure that no one packs Oreos with a side of Oreos for lunch!) and I appreciate the help!
#5- On weekends, cook up extra quantities that would make great lunchbox meals!
Today's inspiration for mini lunchbox apple pies came out of my desire to bake an apple galette for dessert for our Sunday dinner. When you already have everything out to make one pie, it isn't too much harder to make 2! And if you can find a way to create a mini version in a smaller package for lunch, the kids won't even think of it as a “leftover”!
Making the Mini Lunchbox Apple Pies
I start by preparing the pie crust in a food processor and then chilling the dough for an hour before rolling it out. I then cut out circles using a biscuit cutter .
Press the dough rounds into the bottom of a muffin tin. They won't go very far up the sides of the tin- and that's okay.
Cook the filling on a stovetop until golden and softened.
Spoon the filling on top of the pie crusts, and top with a pie-crust cut out if desired! Bake for 20 minutes.
Recipe for Mini Lunchbox Apple Pies
- 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of cold butter, cut into 12-15 pieces
- 3 tablespoons of ice water
- 3 tart apples (I used Granny Smith), peeled, and cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ⅓ cup of dried cherries
- Blend flour and salt in a food processor. Using on and off turns, cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and blend until clumps begin to form. Add 1 additional tablespoon of water and blend again until the dough begins to come together in a large ball. Gather dough and flatten into a disk. Chill for 1 hour before rolling out the dough.
- Roll out the dough and using a 3½" round biscuit cutter, cut out circles and press into a greased muffin tin.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the apples. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar on top, and saute the apples until they are starting to turn golden and soft. Remove from heat and add in the cinnamon and dried cherries. Allow to cool a bit before spooning the filling into the muffin cups.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Looking for More Recipes that Kids Will Actually Eat?
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