Apple Roses

These pretty little apple roses are simple to make for such an amazing effect. They are made with puff pastry wrapped around very thinly sliced apple that has been soaked in lemon and sugar. There's a perfect tartness to them, just exactly balanced with the powdered sugar. 

I first saw them on a YouTube video which I have shared below. But those roses are quite large - they are made in a standard muffin tin. And I really wanted mini roses for afternoon tea. We have adjusted the size and baking time and they work beautifully. Perhaps I should call them apple rose buds!

The video instructions include using a microwave to soften the apples - and I don't have a microwave. I searched around the internet and found this gorgeous video of a rose apple pie. I used Ann's method of soaking the apples instead of cooking them. I decided to use lemon juice rather than orange, and of course, we reduced the quantity. So the apple slices were soaked in melted butter, sugar and lemon juice.

It was very cold when I made these the first time, and the butter began to set while I was rolling up the roses. It made things rather messy - but I just carried on regardless - and they were fine.

Unless you have excellent knife skills, it's best to use a mandolin to cut the apple slices in order to get the thinnest slice possible. This is particularly necessary because these roses are so tiny.

If you use bought pastry in particular, it is well worth wrapping it up between roses and putting it back in the fridge. I found with bought pastry that it tended to stick to the parchment when it got warm. The pastry really must be cold when making these roses. 

If you are making your own puff pastry, you need to have this ready before you begin this recipe. If you are using bought pastry, you need to defrost it first. The best way to do this to leave it in the fridge overnight.

If you find you have left-over apples (which you might well), try making apple tarts with them. Honestly, they were delicious! Follow instructions for apricot tarts with pate sablee pastry - but don't stir jam through the pastry cream - just put pastry cream in the tarts and top with chopped up apples from this recipe. 

I recommend watching the video before you start making these apple roses. It has very clear instructions and it's a joy to watch.

Apple Roses Recipe

Time: 1 hour including cooling time (if pastry is thawed)
Level: Easy (if you use ready rolled bought pastry)
Makes: Depends on the amount of pastry. Around 8.

1/3 quantity of puff pastry or a bought packet
1 red apple
40g (2 tbsp) butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
30g (2 tbsp) sugar
Spices to flavour (eg, cinnamon or nutmeg)
Powdered sugar to decorate
Mini muffin tin

  • Put the butter in a small pan and gently melt on the stove top.
  • Place the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and mix together.
  • Cut the apple into fine slices - about 1 mm thick.
  • Pour the melted butter over the sugar and lemon juice and stir together. Add the apple slices and make sure that all the pieces of apple are coated with the mixture. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place (or at least not a cold place) for 7-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the pastry. Roll it out to 2-3 mm thickness and place it on a sheet of baking parchment. Cut it into strips 2 inches deep by 6 inches wide. Roll the parchment up, with the strips in place. Put it in the fridge until you're ready.
  • Turn the oven on to 375 (gas mark 5).
  • When the apples are ready, remove the pastry from the fridge. Gently unroll the parchment a little and remove two strips of pastry. Put the pastry back in the fridge.
  • Lay the apple slices on to the top half of the strip, as it showed in the video. Sprinkle lightly with spices, if using. Consider cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spices or even cardomon (very sparingly).
  • Fold over the pastry to cover the bottom of the apples.
  • Roll up the strip, together with the apples and pop into the mini muffin tin.
  • Carry on until all the pastry is used up. Don't worry if the butter on the apples starts to set a little.
  • Put in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and cover the apples with a sheet of tin foil.
  • Put back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Use your nose and your eyes. They should smell ready and the pastry should be gently golden.
  • As soon as you take them out of the oven, loosen round them gently with a butter knife. Remove them and put them on a wire rack. Sometimes juices escape from the apples and if you don't get them out quickly, the juices harden making it difficult to remove them from the tin.
  • Leave the apple roses to cool for 15 minutes or so. When cold, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

Serve with

Serve apple roses on their own with a well-scented Earl Grey tea or a Vanilla Rooibos. 

As part of a full afternoon tea, we served this apple roses alongside shortbread hearts, little finger sandwiches and Earl Grey tea. With more guests, we would add chocolate eclairs or cream puffs. This is perfect for a Valentine treat, or a party for a little princess.....