I’m obsessed with mini things (see: mini cherry lime pies). I’ve seen this recipe floating around on the Pinterest for a while, and quite a few people have sent me links to some version of this recipe. Initially, I was a bit intimidated because they’re just so darn cute and pretty! I thought for sure it would end up a Pinterest Fail, but the process isn’t nearly as intimidating as it seems.
I recommend using an apple like Pink Lady, Braeburn or Honeycrisp – something crisp, firm, sweet and a bit tart with a pinkish hue on the skin. A regular Red Delicious lunchbox apple won’t give you great results here because the texture is too mealy, the skin too bitter and the flavor not intense enough. Fuji or Golden Delicious will work in a pinch.
You can shortcut the recipe and save yourself about an hour and purchase already made pie dough – look for “all butter” pie dough. Honestly, it’s easy enough to make yourself (it’s like playing with Play-doh! lol), but sometimes you just don’t wanna, and I get that. But make it from scratch, at least once. It’ll rock your world.
- for the pie dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar (see note below)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 3 tbsp ice cold water
for the filling
2 apples (Pink Lady, Braeburn, Honeycrisp etc)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (see note below)
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
- for the dough
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the cubed butter. Work the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingertips until the mixture looks like a coarse meal and there are no pieces of butter larger than the size of a pea. Add in ice water and stir to combine. The mixture should just come together into a ball, add additional ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if dough seems dry.
- Form the dough into a disc, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.
- On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. Use a biscuit cutter, a cup or a bowl about 3 1/2-4" in diameter and cut out rounds of dough. Fit each round into the cup of a buttered muffin tin, pushing the dough up the sides. Chill dough while the filling is prepped.
- for the filling
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- To cut the apples and remove the core, place the apple upright and make a cut about 1/8" from the center of the apple - basically making straight cuts around the core. Repeat on the remaining sides, you should have 2 large pieces, 2 small pieces and the core.
- Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, cut the apples very thinly into half moons. Toss the apples with the lemon juice. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and combine with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Pour mixture over the apples along with lemon juice and toss to combine. Microwave apples for about 1 minute, until soft and pliable enough to roll.
- Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and combine with remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Brush the bottom of each dough cup with the mixture.
- To form the roses, place about 10 slices of apples on a flat surface, laying them out horizontally and consistently with the skin side facing you. Place each slice so it overlaps the previous slice by half. Begin tightly rolling the apples from one end to the other. Once you've got the basic rose shape, pick up the apples and add any additional apple "petals" around the outside, depending on how large you want the rose to be. I used about 12-18 slices per rose.
- Put an apple rose in each cup of the muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375F until crust is golden and apples are cooked through.
- Warm the strawberry preserves in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Brush preserves over each apple rose to glaze.