Have you heard‽ Hand-pies are the new cupcakes! Pack one of these easy-to-make tuna hand-pies in your lunch for a great change-of-pace.
Like many moms, I think hard about what to send off to school with my kids in their lunches each day. The contents of that little tan sack have to be healthy, provide a solid source of protein and energy, and taste good enough to eat instead of getting traded off for something more appealing. (What!?! My little darling would trade away the PBJ and cheese stick lunch I’ve made her every day for the last three years? Umm, yes – in a heartbeat.) Moreover, I’m a working mom (aren’t we all, really?), so anything I prepare needs to be quick, easy to make and economical. So it should come as no surprise that I’m always trying out new ideas for sack lunches.
This year, I’m all about hand pies. (“Haven’t you heard? Hand-pies are the new cupcakes.”) Or turnovers. Or pocket pies. Or whatever you want to call them. In any case, they are little pockets of savory or sweet deliciousness baked in a folded pastry pocket. I love them for so many reasons – they are fast, easy to make, just the right size, portable, and you can make them way ahead and freeze them. I even bought a nifty little pocket pie maker that cuts and seals them perfectly. (If you don’t have a hand-pie maker, just cut a 6″ or 7″ circle and fold it over. Easy-peasy.)
- 4 ounces Neufchâtel or light cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or ½ teaspoon dried dill)
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 5 ounces Premium Albacore Tuna In Water
- ½ batch of Herbed Pie Crust (omit the sage and thyme and substitute in a little dill and lemon zest!) OR
- You favorite pie crust recipe OR
- Store-bought refrigerated pie crust (like Pillsbury)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- With a fork, mix together cream cheese, onion, walnuts, red pepper, dill, relish and lemon zest.
- Stir in tuna.
- Roll out dough and cut into 6” circles. Put a generous quarter cup of filling in the center of each circle.
- Wet edges of pastry, fold edges together and press to seal. (if you wish to freeze pies for later, this is the place to stop. When you are ready to make them, just defrost and bake as directed.)
- If you want, you can brush each pocket pie with egg white. Pierce the top of each pocket pie to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in 350° oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Personally, I prefer using tuna that comes in pouches over that in cans: there is no draining involved, clean-up is a snap, and there is less packaging and waste so I feel as though I’m being more environmentally responsible.
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I’d love to hear about your favorite tuna recipes. Please take a moment to share in the comments below!