All around the world at the current time, staying home has become the new going out. Although the situation is not ideal, it is necessary. For many people, this means spending extended time at home with family. Parents all over the country are now educating and entertaining their children and thinking of some ingenious ways to do this. Since so many of us are at home together, family activities are happening more than ever. Getting your little ones involved in a staycation picnic lunch is a great way of spending quality time with them. They will enjoy preparing the food with you, setting up the picnic, and eating all of the tasty treats you have planned. Apples are a great ingredient to use as they are fresh, healthy, and delicious.

Simple Apple Tarte Tatin

A simple apple tart, with buttery, flaky puff pastry and sweet, perfectly ripe apples, is a thing of glory and will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. You can make your own pastry, but if you want to make life easy, using a roll of the store-bought puff pastry is good enough and will save you on preparation time.

Grease a large skillet with butter and cover it with a layer of your favorite apples, chopped into fine slices. Preparing the apples is a good way of getting children involved in the kitchen. For children over the age of 8, this is a great opportunity to teach them how to properly use a knife to safely cut fruit. A small Japanese chef’s knife is a good choice for this job as they are easy to handle, lightweight and often made from high quality stainless steel. A sharp knife is much easier to use than a blunt one, as it will cut the apples cleanly.

Once you have placed your apples in the skillet, drizzle some melted butter over them and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Cover the apples with a large circle of pastry. Pop the pan in the oven at 370°F for half an hour. When the tart is ready, carefully turn it upside down onto your serving dish.

Spiced Apple Chips

Apple chips are a healthy snack that you can make with your children—and they are perfect for a picnic. You only need two ingredients—a good, crisp apple, like a Honeycrisp or Pink Lady, and some cinnamon. Slice your apples using a chef’s knife or a parer. The apples should be between 1-2mm thick so that they crisp up nicely in the oven. Spread the slices over a baking sheet and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Bake these at 280°F for an hour, turning them over halfway through. These apple chips are perfect to use with a dip, or as an accompaniment to your picnic sandwiches. They are low in calories and packed with vitamin C to keep little ones healthy.

Apple Granola Bars

In a sauce pan over low heat on the stovetop, combine 1 ¼ cups of old fashioned oats, ½ cup of dried apple cubes, ½ cup of honey, ¼ cup of coconut oil, and 2 ½ cups of puffed rice cereal. You can also add any combination of chopped nuts and seeds, such as pecans and chia seeds. Once all the ingredients are combined, pour the mixture into a rectangular baking dish. Bake the granola mix in the oven at 280°F for 45 minutes. Once your apple granola is cool, cut it into slices for the perfect picnic dessert. These are also a good lunchbox staple that you can make ahead.

Apples are the perfect ingredient for any staycation picnic. They are healthy, versatile, and have a naturally sweet taste your whole family will love. Make your apple treats even better with u-pick apples from Robinette’s apple orchards!

Written by Isabella Lovett for Robinette’s