Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lunchbox Honey Apple Tarts

Lunch is an important part of the day, especially for kids at school. While there's always talk of improving the health of school lunches, I've found that it still doesn't meet my standard for a budget friendly or healthy meal for my kids. But I'm always torn because I remember growing up how important lunch was to me. Most of my friends ate "school lunch" and I have to admit that I felt a little left out with my home lunch most days. My parents understood and we got to eat one school lunch every month. We looked forward to that and would always plan it for a day when they'd have pizza or another kind of our favorite food. School lunches were discussed most Monday nights in our home growing up during family night or "family home evening" as we called it. We joke about that now, but it really meant a lot to us. It was a huge deal. And it's a big deal to my kids now. Especially my third grader who eats home lunch at school most days like I did. I'm always on the look out for fun and healthy meals that I can include in his lunch to make home lunch exciting and fun for him.

These apple tarts are one of the seven lunch wonders of the world for us right now. We got a bunch of apples from a neighbor and I've been making these a lot to freeze and put in his lunches. He loves them and would eat them every meal if I let him. I try to save them mostly for lunches so he'll have a fun thing in his lunch to look forward to that is also healthy. I have to sneak one now and again too because they're one of my favorite healthy treats around.

So what do you think? Home Lunch? School Lunch? What did you grow up with? What do you do to make your kid's lunches fun and healthy? I'd love to hear your ideas. Have a great day!

Lunchbox Honey Apple Tarts
Printable Recipe

*Makes about 12 tarts

*Note: I often double or triple this recipe to make a large batch of these and store them in the freezer for quick lunchbox treats, a healthy afternoon snack, or even an on-the-go breakfast once in a while. To double or triple the recipe, double all of the ingredients except the egg wash at the end of the recipe. One batch of egg wash makes plenty for a triple batch of tarts.

1 Cup Wonder Flour
1 Cup Unbleached White Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp. softened butter, divided
1/4 Cup ice water
2 Cups peeled, cored and diced apples (about 2 medium)
1/4 Cup raw honey
1 tsp. ultra gel or 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. honey

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine wonder flour, white flour, salt, and 1/2 Cup softened butter and mix together until crumbly. Add ice water and stir until dough forms. Cover and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Add diced apples and cook until apples soften, about 5 minutes. Add honey, ultra gel or cornstarch, and cinnamon to apples and stir until honey dissolves and any juices from the apples begin to thicken, about 5 more minutes.

On a lightly floured counter, roll dough to 1/8" thickness and cut into 12 rounds with a 4-inch biscuit cutter (or equivalent sized bowl). Place dough rounds onto greased baking sheets. Add a Tablespoon of the apple mixture to half of each dough round. Fold opposite end of dough over apples and seal with hands or a fork. Use a little water rubbed on your fingers to help the seal stick. Repeat with all of the tarts. Cut a small slit in the top of each pie to vent steam.

In a small bowl combine egg, 1 tablespoon water and 1 tsp. honey and stir until well blended. Brush on tops of each apple tart.

Bake tarts in a 375 F oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool completely before storing or freezing.

Recipe Source: healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com

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