Mini apple rose pies with ginger and honey
Apple rose mini pies are a gorgeous and delicious alternative to traditional apple pie. I’ve spiced these up with a little ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, and used store bought puff pastry to simplify what’s already a slightly time-consuming (but fun!) process.
I can’t recall what inspired me to make these. Probably instagram. Either way, when I was searching for apple pie recipes and came across apple roses, I felt compelled to make one. I could tell it would be time consuming — and time is of the essence right now — but I just had to see if I could pull it off. And once I made one, they were so lovely and so delicious (and surprisingly so easy), that I couldn’t help myself but to make several.
The great thing about these apple rose mini pies is that you can make them several days in advance. They also serve as a lovely decoration before being eaten, as they can stay at room temperature out on a table.
The trick to making these delicate and lovely is slicing the apples on the thinnest setting of a mandoline in whole rounds. That means cutting the apple across the equator and then cutting the thinly sliced rounds in half to get even pieces. The puff pastry can also be tricky to work with, as it gets sticky as soon as it thaws, so keep it in fridge the while you make each individual apple pie.
I got these right on the first try, and I’m not a baker. So it’s really not that complicated. You just need the patience and a little time. I stayed up until way past my bedtime making these after my daughter went to sleep, but it was fun. It was like my own special, edible art project.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: These pretty little guys take time. However, they’re actually fairly simple to make. What’s most important is that you slice the apples thinly and make them all about the same size half moons.
MAKES 10 MINI APPLE PIES
PREP TIME: 1 hour COOK TIME: 15 minutes TOTAL TIME: 1 hour, 15 minutes
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup honey
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground ginger
6 large Mcintosh or Red Delicious apples
¼ cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
2 sheets puff pastry
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar (optional)
- In a large sauce pot over low heat, add the orange juice, lemon juice, honey, butter, vanilla and ¼ teaspoon of the ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and all is combined, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Cut the apples in half across the equator line. Using a mandolin set to 1.5 millimeters (or about 1/16 of an inch — basically as thin as you can get it), slice each half of the apple until you have several round disks. Stack the disks and cut them in half so that you have half moon shapes.
- Place the apple slices in the butter and orange juice mixture and soak for until they are pliable, about 10 minutes. (You might have to do this in batches).
- In a small bowl, combine the cane sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining ginger.
- Thaw the puff pastry on parchment paper and slice into 1-inch long strips. You should get about 10 strips total. Keep the strips in the refrigerator and only pull out one at a time while you’re making the roses so they don’t get too sticky.
- Lay one puff pastry strip on parchment paper. Starting on the right side of the puff pastry strip, place one slice of the apple on the top half of the strip with the skin facing up, flat side down. Then overlap it with another slice of apple and continue this until you have the strip filled with overlapping apple slices. Sprinkle with a little of the sugar cinnamon mixture. Fold the bottom half of the puff pastry over the apples and press to seal. Then starting on the right side, slowly and carefully roll the strip in all the way into the end until you have a fully formed rose.
- Repeat with the remaining puff pastry and apple and cinnamon sugar mixture.
- When complete, heat the oven to 375°F. Place the mini apple pies into a muffin tin and transfer to the oven. Bake until the puff pastry is crisp and the apple are slightly browned on top, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove and let cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar, if you want.