Apple Rose Tarts

September 18, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Makes 10 4- to 5-inch tartlets
Author Notes

To see a video of how to shape the rose, head to the article: Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 5 small firm crisp flavorful new crop apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • Splash brandy or rum (optional)
  • Pinch or two of cinnamon
  • Pastry cream (1 1/2 to 2 cups;, thick apple butter (1 cup), or any kind of jam (1/2 cup)
  • 10 4- or 4 1/2-inch tartlet crusts, baked and cooled (puff pastry, filo, shortbread or sugar cookie crusts)
  1. Note on the tartlet shells: In the photos above, we used puff pastry, cut into 4-inch circles and scored around the circumference with a sharp knife about 1/4-inch in, so as to form an outer "crust" while baking.
  2. Peel one of the apples (reserving the peels) and cut it in half through the stem. Remove the core, leaving each half intact. Lay one half flat on the cutting board, cut-side down. Slice it crosswise (i.e. from the apple's "top," where the stem was, to its "bottom") into scant 1/8-inch slices, keeping the slices together in the shape of the apple half. Transfer the slices to a saucer, pushing on the top to fan them only slightly. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar. Cover loosely with a square of wax or parchment paper, tucking the ends under the dish. Microwave on high for 1 minute (my microwave is 800 watts use; 45 seconds if your microwave is more powerful). Set the saucer aside and let the apples cool and reabsorb most of its juice undisturbed. Meanwhile prepare and cook the other apples one at a time, always reserving the peels. Cool all of the apples on the saucers they were baked in.
  3. To do this in an oven rather than a microwave, preheated the oven to 350° F. Put the sliced apple halves, still together in the shape of half an apple, in a baking pan. Sprinkle 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar over them and 2 tablespoons of rum, if you like. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and baste apples with their juices. Cook uncovered for 10 to 20 more minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool completely before forming roses.
  4. To shape the roses, leave apple slices in their saucers. Nudge half the slices over, opening the slices up like a book. (Go here to see a video of how to do it! Use your fingers to twist the center apple slice into a cone or spiral to form a bud at the center of the rose. Wrap one or two adjacent slices partially around the bud to resemble the inner petals of the rose. Continue to arrange the adjacent slices, working from the center outward, until the apple looks like an open garden rose lying in the saucer! You can cover and refrigerate the roses up to 4 days before serving them.
  5. To make the glaze, combine the apple peelings in a small saucepan with the apple juice, rum (if using), the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, and pinch of cinnamon. Simmer until the liquid is reduced and thickened to a sticky glaze. Pour into a strainer set over a bowl and press the solids to extract as much juice as possible. You should have about 1/4 cup of glaze. Discard solids. Set the glaze aside until needed.
  6. To assemble tartlets, spread a little apple butter, jam, or pastry cream in each tart shell. Slide a metal spatula under a rose and transfer it to a tartlet crust. Repeat with the remaining roses. Reheat the glaze and brush it on the apples to give them a little shine.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • SallyYuyun
  • Peony
  • Dieselle
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

6 Reviews

SallyYuyun May 31, 2017
The information which you people are given are really good, These look really great.
Peony September 23, 2016
Does anyone have recommendations of types of apples to use? I have access to stores with a wide variety.
Smaug September 23, 2016
Other than that a really mealy apple might not bend well, really a matter of taste. You have some latitude with the amount of sugar; you could use a sweet crust or not; the glaze needs it's sugar for the right consistency, but other than that you could play with it. My own preference is for tart apples- Pippins preferably, or Granny Smith. It's conceivable that the different cell structure of Honeycrisps would cause some difficulty, but I really doubt it.
Smaug September 22, 2016
I don't usually go in for elaborate presentations, but I had an apple and a chunk of pastry dough left over from a recent experiment with apple squares, and decided to give it a whirl. It did, indeed, come together fairly easily, decide less than exemplary technique- I wasn't awfully meticulous with the shells, it being an experiment, and my roses were perhaps more David Austin than hybrid tea, but they did come together pretty easily and held shape without complaint. I used tangerine juice for the glaze, and added a touch of nutmeg (working with what I had). Despite being less than perfect they look pretty darn neat- with a reasonable amount of care you should be able to make a quite impressive presentation out of this, and you can't lose with the taste; it's apple pie.
Smaug September 22, 2016
DESPITE less than... This site really needs an edit function.
Dieselle September 21, 2016
What keeps the formed apple roses intact and not falling apart?