Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apple Roses

This may be the first recipe my father has shared not containing elk or venison. Not to say he doesn't enjoy cooking with (or eating) a variety of ingredients, but he is above all, a practical man. A man who enjoys dining on what he procured from nature more than anything.
My most vivid memories of dad are those of him up at the pulpit preaching the Good Word, hiking a good trail or hunting wild game. Winter backpacking with an old-school external frame is right up there as well. He'd always pack a little surprise treat slyly produced while thawing appendages around a crackly fire.
Dad taught me to hike hard, always wear your wool, and set up your tent while the water boils on the camp stove. Then it was time for a treat; something to celebrate all the toil. Maybe a Snickers or some Mrs. Butterworth's to pour over your morning pancakes.
While on the trail, he taught me to appreciate chunky peanut butter on a slab of cheddar. I still like it. I still have a fondness for Mrs. Butterworth's when I pass her friendly glass silhouette in the baking aisle.
Imagine my surprise when I was sent an email containing a collection of naturally lit photos of "Apple Roses" from dad. Where was the usual side of 8 points....or at least some buckshot? 
Turns out he did not make them. These carefully assembled apple flowers were from a friend and fellow minister, J.
Looking at the recipe J sent to dad, along with an array of photographs of the apple florets from various angles on a large white platter, I recognized something....a kindred spirit. I had to make them.

Many thanks to J for taking pride in such a worthwhile pastime: the art of baking. Your apple roses are not only beautiful, but deeply nourishing in their visual display and in every other sense. The fruit preserves smothered between the pastry dough and sliced apples really bring it all home. 

Used here are locally grown Honeycrisp apples with my sister, Becky's homemade Asian pear butter. We opted to make our own pastry dough in lieu of frozen puff pastry which worked out well. 

Quite possibly the perfect surprise to pull from your external-frame and enjoy by the fire.

Apple Roses:
*5 large apples
*Juice from 1/2 lemon
*5 Tablespoons fruit preserves of choice
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Basic pastry crust:
*1 1/4 cups quality flour
*1/4 cup sugar
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 tsp sea salt
*8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
*3-4 Tbsp ice water

To slice the apples, place stem side up on cutting board. Working toward the center of the apple, cut thin slices top to bottom until you reach the core. Repeat with the opposite side leaving the core and stem in tact. Place slices in a medium saucepan until all apples are sliced. Cover apple slices with cool water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce to a very gentle simmer for 2 minutes or until slices are just flexible enough to roll without breaking.

Strain and rinse with cold water. Transfer apples to a clean dish towel to dry. Meanwhile make the pastry.

Place flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor fitted with a blade. Blend. Add the cold butter and blend to a course meal. With blade running, slowly add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until dough forms. Transfer dough onto a floured work surface. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and unwrap. Return to floured work surface. Roll dough into aprox. a 10x13'' rectangle. Cut longwise into five 2'' wide strips. 

Grease 5 of the cups in a muffin tin. Preheat oven to 375.

Working with one strip of pastry at at a time, smear 1 Tablespoon fruit preserves lengthwise down the center of the pastry strip. Place an apple slice on the beginning of the strip allowing half of the slice to exceed the top of the strip and leaving half of the pastry exposed at the bottom. Overlap another slice next to it lengthwise down the remainder of the strip. Fold the bottom portion of pastry up over the bottom of the apple slices. Roll the whole strip onto itself as if rolling a yoga mat to create the apple rose. Gently transfer to muffin tin. Repeat with remaining pastry and apple slices. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes until pastry is golden. If apples begin too fast, loosely cover with parchment until done. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before carefully loosening each apple rose from muffin tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Mix together the teaspoon ground cinnamon with the Tablespoon sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over top of apple roses. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


  1. Those are gorgeous! They would be a lovely treat to eat on Guadalupe's Day, which is sometime like December 12, I think.
    Eduard, where are you?

  2. Yes! Way to incorporate the rolling of a yoga mat in the recipe. I just caught that. Nice one.

  3. I am sorry my dear friends; I disagree with the yoga-mat. I am going to make Belgian waffles today.

  4. Have been busy with driving all over.......

  5. What is there to disagree with about the yoga mat?

  6. What is there to disagree with about the yoga mat?

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