Are you looking for a showstopping dessert recipe? These Apple Rose Puff Pastries are just what you need! These individual apple pies look like gorgeous little roses. They are perfect to serve on a special occasion like Mother’s day, Valentine’s day, a baby shower or an Easter brunch. These elegant rose pastries will wow your guests, while only taking half an hour of your time!
What you need to make apple rose pastries
You need regular ingredients that you can find in your local supermarket, a muffin tray and two baking sheets. Here’s a list of everything you need to make these elegant apple roses pastries.
- Apples: Any crispy apple with a vibrant red or pink skin will work. You want a red-skinned apple to get that ‘rose effect’ on the finished dish. Some apple varieties you can use are Red Delicious, Gala or Pink Lady.
- Butter: A little bit of melted butter will make these flaky pastries taste delicious. The butter also helps the sugar stick to the dough and prevents the dough from sticking to your muffin tray.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice stops your apple slices from browning.
- Apricot preserve: Apricot preserve or jam gives these pastries an extra touch of sweet fruity flavour. You can swap this for other flavoured jams, frangipane or a caramel sauce. You could even omit it altogether and just add some melted butter with cinnamon sugar for that classic apple pie flavour.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a sweet and warm flavour to these apple tarts.
- Cane sugar: A sprinkle of cane sugar before rolling up the rose will make the pastry extra crunchy and sweet. You can also use caster sugar instead.
- Puff pastry: Ready-made buttery puff pastry is what holds these mini apple pies together. Store-bought frozen puff pastry works perfectly and saves loads of time. Try to find puff pastry made with real butter to get that extra flaky and buttery flavour. Roll out the dough and cut it into strips, each dough strip will become one mini apple rose pastry.
- Icing sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar or powdered sugar. Use it for a dusting of sugar on top of the rose to get that pretty snowy effect. Alternatively, you can also drizzle some caramel sauce or maple syrup on top of the apple rose.
You also need a muffin tray to bake these pastries in. A 12-hole muffin tray works best because you can then bake them all at once. If you haven’t got a muffin tray you could try baking the roses in individual small ramekins, just keep in mind these are thicker and your baking time will probably need to be a little longer. Finally. you're going to need two baking trays that we'll use to soften the apple slices. If you only have one tray then work in two batches to soften the apple.
How to make these apple roses
The end result might look super fancy and elegant, but these apple roses really are super easy to make! Follow these simple steps to make beautiful apple rose pastries:
Step 1: Prepare the apples
Preparing the apples is the most important part of this recipe. It might seem like a lot of effort, but it’s really easy and will take less time than you think!
First, wash and dry your apples. Cut them in half (from top to bottom) and use a melon baller or a small spoon to remove the core. Use a sharp knife or a mandolin to cut the apple into thin slices. Your slices need to be about ⅛ inch or 3 millimetres thick. Place the apple slices in a bowl and sprinkle them with a bit of lemon juice before cutting the next apple. The lemon juice will prevent the apple slices from browning.
Once you’ve placed all the apple slices into a bowl drizzle on 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 teaspoons of sugar (I used cane sugar but regular caster sugar is just fine). If you have any lemon juice left over sprinkle this on as well. Carefully mix the apple slices with the melted butter, lemon juice and sugar until each slice is coated.
Most recipes will tell you to put the apple slices in a bowl of water with lemon juice and microwave it (or quickly boil it) to soften the apples. We’re not going to do that, you’ll lose some of the apple flavour in the water! Instead, we are going to place the apple slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You’ll need two baking sheets for four apples. Place all the apple slices on the sheets. They don’t have to be placed perfectly and it’s ok if they overlap here and there as long as they are mostly in one layer. Now all you need to do is bake the apples for about 10 minutes in the oven, at this point they should be soft and pliable. They need to be soft so you can roll them up later on without them breaking.
Step 2: Prepare the puff pastry
Most store-bought puff pastry usually either comes in one large sheet or several smaller sheets in a box. Roll out your sheet of dough until it’s about 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inches). If you’ve got small sheets of puff pastry (mine were 12x12 cm / 4½ x 4½ inch) then layer 4 of them on top of each other before rolling them out. You can’t knead puff pastry because of the layers in the dough, but you can stack several layers of the dough sheets on top of each other and then roll them out together.
If you want to roll out stacked puff pastry it works best when it’s still cold but no longer frozen. Cold dough is easier to roll out without it changing shape too much, you can reshape the dough in between rolls to keep it in a rectangular shape. Sprinkle a little bit of plain flour on your work surface when you’re rolling out the dough to prevent it from sticking.
Once you’ve got a rolled-out rectangle of puff pastry it’s time to cut the dough into six strips. Use a pizza roller or a knife to cut the dough. Divide the long side into 6, you’ve now got 6 dough strips with a size of 5 x 20 cm ( 2 x 8 inches).
Do the same with the other sheet of dough (or the other 4 small sheets of dough), so you’ll end up with 12 strips of pastry. Alternatively, you can first make six roses out of the pastry you just cut and then repeat the entire process for the other six roses.
Step 3: Make the apple roses
You’ve cut and softened your apples and you’ve rolled out and cut your dough into smaller strips. Now comes the fun part; turn these simple ingredients into elegant roses.
First, spread out about 1 teaspoon of apricot preserve on each dough strip. The apricot glues the apple to the dough and adds a touch of sweetness.
Now we’ll work on one dough strip at a time. Take your apple slices and place about 10 apple slices on each strip of pastry. Place the apple with the peel side facing out, slightly sticking out of the dough and overlapping until you’ve covered the entire top half of the pastry strip.
Next fold the bottom part of the dough strip up onto the apples, leaving only the tops of the apples exposed. Press the dough down slightly to make sure it sticks, but don’t press so hard that the apricot and apples are squeezed out. Repeat this for all 6 strips of dough (or 12 strips if you make them all at once).
Before rolling up the pastry into a rose shape we want to add another layer of flavour. Brush each dough strip with melted butter. Next, sprinkle some cane sugar and cinnamon onto each strip.
Now it’s time to roll. Starting at one end, carefully roll up each pastry strip. You’ll end up with a rose made from puff pastry and apple slices. Place each rose into the hole of a greased muffin tray. Make sure you’ve used some melted butter to grease the tray before rolling the roses, otherwise they might stick to the tray. Once you’ve rolled all the roses bake them in the oven for about 40-45 minutes until the dough is golden brown.
Keep an eye on your pastries once they are in the oven. Depending on your oven you might notice that the pretty red apple skins turn brown or even black. To prevent this you can loosely place a sheet of aluminium foil on top of the muffin tray to block some of the top heat. This way the bottom dough will continue to bake, while the top is more protected.
Once baked, immediately remove them from the muffin tray and place them on a wire rack to cool. If you leave them to cool in the muffin tray they will stick to the pan and can be very hard to take out without breaking the roses.
How to serve these apple roses
When they are still warm these puff pastry roses are perfectly flaky. Dust some icing sugar on top of each rose to get that snowy effect and serve them warm or cold.
Alternatively, you can serve them with a drizzle of caramel sauce, maple syrup or even a side of vanilla ice cream! These pastries will be best on the day you baked them, fresh out of the oven.
Tips & Alternatives
- Prevent the roses from sticking to the tray: Use a pastry brush with melted butter to grease your muffin tray. You don’t want the roses to stick to the tray. You could also use a baking spray. Once baked immediately remove the roses from the tray and let them cool on a wire rack. If you leave them to cool in the tray they will stick and be very hard to remove without ruining the bottoms.
- Softening the apple: Baking the apple slices in the oven to make them soft and pliable means that all the apple flavour is preserved. Most recipes call for placing them in a bowl of water and boiling or microwaving them, in this recipe we use the oven instead.
- Cutting the apple: Cutting the apple in similar thin slices is what makes or breaks the elegant result of this recipe. You want to slice the apple into thin ⅛ inch (3 mm) slices. Carefully cut them by hand or use a mandolin to cut even thin slices. For this recipe, I used a sharp kitchen knife and cut them by hand.
- Prevent the apple skins from burning: Keep an eye on your pastries once they are in the oven. Depending on your oven you might notice that the pretty red apple skins turn brown or even black. To prevent this you can loosely place a sheet of aluminium foil on top of the muffin tray to block some of the top heat. This way the bottom dough will continue to bake, while the top is more protected.
- Filling variation: Instead of apricot preserve you can try other fruit jams or jellies, frangipane filling or a caramel sauce.
- Dusting tips: A little dusting of icing sugar adds a touch of sweetness and gives that pretty ‘snowed on’ effect. Alternatively, you could sprinkle the roses with cinnamon sugar instead of icing sugar.
- Add extra spices: Warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger all work great in apple pies. Use any or all of these to create your own favourite spice combo.
- Serving suggestions: These pastries are best served right away when they are still a bit crispy. They’ll lose their crispiness in storage. You can reheat them in a preheated oven (190 ℃ / 375 ℉) for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
- Make ahead: If you want to make these ahead of time it’s best to follow the recipe until the rolling of the roses. Roll the roses and place them in the greased muffin tray, but then cover the tray in cling film and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
- Leftover apple slices: Four apples should be plenty for 12 apple roses. Depending on the size of your apples you might even have some leftover slices. These leftover softened apple slices are actually delicious to snack on just like that, or save them in an airtight container in the fridge and eat them with your morning yoghurt or oatmeal.
- Vegan version: If you want to make a vegan version of this recipe you have to leave out the butter and use vegan-friendly puff pastry. Most supermarkets will have a vegan puff pastry option in the freezer section. Instead of melted butter, you can use some coconut oil.
Are you looking for more sweet brunch recipes?
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- Start your day off right with this healthy and delicious Apple Pie Oatmeal with maple syrup and baked apples. This warm oatmeal bowl is healthy, delicious, full of fibre and can easily be made vegan.
- Bake these decadent Brownies with a rich chocolate flavour, a fudgy middle and crispy edges. They're chocolate heaven!
- Sweet cranberry sauce, creamy brie cheese and flaky crescent rolls come together to create this delicious Cranberry Brie Wreath. This delicious holiday appetizer will steal the show on your brunch table.
- Serve a mug of the best Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte with real pumpkin puree, maple syrup and warming spices!
- Make a batch of homemade Lemon Curd to serve with desserts, as a topping for yoghurt and oatmeal bowls or simply spread this zingy goodness on a piece of toast.
- Try this Eton Mess with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries. It puts a zesty spin on this classic dessert that makes it perfect for spring and summer!