The most delicious way to serve roses
Some time ago, Wanja, a friend of mine who enjoys cooking very much as well, sent me a picture of these tartlets jokingly asking if they were something for this blog and I think they most definitely are! They are so pretty that I really wanted to create my own version of them. Since it’s still cold outside I decided to make a chestnut filling, which fits well to the season and is a nice contrast to the fruitiness of the apples.
I used red wine to color the apple slices. However, you can replace the red wine with cherry juice if you prefer that flavor or apple juice if you want your roses to have a cream color. Personally, I think the short crust pastry with its buttery flavor is fantastic for these tartlets. Just make sure that you use cold butter and eggs when preparing the dough and to knead it as quickly as possible. If you want to save some time I think it would also be possible to use filo pastry instead (I haven’t tried that though).
These tartlets are super pretty, but making the apple shaped roses takes quite a bit of time and skill. I remember Wanja telling me it would take a few hours and at first I thought to myself “Naaah, I’m gonna be much faster than that…” Turns out he was right; it takes quite a while indeed! 😉 Just don’t get frustrated and maybe spend one afternoon together with a friend baking (and eating) the tartlets.
For 12 tartlets
For the short crust pastry
300g butter, cold, cubed
100g confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk
zest of half a lemon
a pinch of salt
For the chestnut filling
500g chestnuts, cooked and peeled
1 packet vanilla sugar
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves
50g milk chocolate, finely grated
For the apple roses
4 large apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced into 3mm thick slices
200ml red wine
300ml apple juice
4 tbsp sugar
a large junk of lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick
1. Prepare the short crust pastry: place butter, flour, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a bowl and knead until you have a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to cool.
2. Heat red wine and apple juice with cinnamon stick, sugar and lemon zest in a large saucepan. Add the apples and simmer for around 15 minutes at low heat (!) until soft, otherwise your apple slices might fall apart. Once the sliced apples are soft enough to be bent, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to cool off.
3. Prepare the chestnut filling: place chestnuts, milk, crew, cinnamon, ground cloves, sugar, rum and vanilla sugar in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth puree.
4. Now make the preparations for your apple roses: place 10 apple slices in one line with the pieces overlapping each other. You will need 12 of these apple lines (1 for each tartlet).
5. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease one muffin tray. Remove the dough from the fridge, discard the cling film and roll flat until the dough is about 3mm thick. Cut out round pieces of dough and line the muffin tray with them (it will be easier to take the tartlets out of the muffin tray after you’ve baked them if you don’t cut off all excess dough that might stick out of the muffin mold). Use a fork to punch little holes in the bottom of the dough.
6. Place one teaspoon of grated chocolate in each tartlet mold. Top the chocolate with the chestnut filling, which you split evenly between all tartlets.
7. Now prepare the apple roses: start rolling the apple slices from one side as tightly as you can until you have incorporated all apple slices and have one rose (it might be a bit challenging to keep them from falling apart). Place the apple rose on top of the chestnut puree.
8. Last but not least, gently top the roses with some of the apple-red wine mix you cooked your apples in using a brush. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the short crust pastry has turned golden.
9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool off before removing from the muffin tray (otherwise the tartlet shell might crumble). Best serve with a good cup of tea or coffee.