Cheat at Apple Roses and Get Away With It

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 Intricate apple roses are nothing to be scared of.

Have you ever been searching through Pinterest only to find many of your pins, likes, and saves being way too complicated for you to ever take the time to complete? "I ain't got time for that" is a frequently shared expression when exploring these beautiful pictures and ideas. One of these ideas is apple roses. The beautiful, intricately interwoven and delicately sliced apples folded between homemade puff pastry freshly grated nutmeg folded together as perfectly as origami. One look at that amazing picture and I had already given up. That is until I was faced with choosing a delicious recipe for a family dinner for Thanksgiving.

I wanted to find something beautiful, yet perfect for individual servings. My sister-in-laws had some fabulous ideas posted to Pinterest, one of the prettiest being apple roses. Alongside were also bourbon glazed apples which made a yummy option alongside. I had apples on hand and who doesn't have spices? So I gathered up my courage and started reading the recipe more deeply. I soon found out that apple roses are not near as complex and difficult as the pictures make them appear. A few substitutes, a few practice runs, a few trials of other fruit slices and I was well and I was on my way to the easiest apple roses you've ever seen. Now don't get me wrong, there is still some rolling involved. And you're hands will get a little messy.

When I try a recipe I like to go all out, as my friends and family already know. And I often never make the same thing over again. Because I like trying new things. Apple roses were my new thing. And I explored between apples, pears, and even plums. I explored the various likes to techniques and methods for placing them perfectly into the cupcake pan. Troubleshooting was fairly easy and soon they were in the oven and on the way to a beautiful crispy Rose.

As beautiful and simple as this recipe is, I do recommend having a paper towel or a rag nearby to catch some honey drip off.

There will be some smudging of nut butter or honey. The stickier the better as it holds the tortilla better against the rose and makes it easier rolling experience. Now let's get into the nitty-gritty of this recipe so you can try it for yourself.

apple roses recipe tutorial

What to have on hand before you can start this recipe. Apples or pears or plums, just one will actually take you far. Cinnamon, large circular tortillas, and any kind of nut butter or honey. Apple juice and lemon juice can be helpful for the apple slices to prevent browning but they don't change the final result too much.

Start by slicing your fruit, and the trick here is to get the apple slices as even as possible while still keeping a sliver of the red peel along the edge.

Thin slices help in several ways. First and foremost, it helps to create a flexible apple that does not break when rolling, which will be coming up soon. Second, it creates a more lifelike rose by having even red strips that look a lot more like rose petals. Third, the bake will be a lot more even and you will have less burnt edges again yielding a more lifelike rose. 

Next, put all of your slices into a small bowl and fill the bowl with 75% water (or apple juice) and a quarter percent lemon juice (if you have it) and about a tablespoon of cinnamon. Next, microwave this mixture with your apples for 3 minutes and then check them. If the apple slice is flexible they can come out. If they are still very rigid, microwave for another 45 seconds. And repeat this process until they are at the right flexibility. 

apple roses recipe tutorial (1)

Next, take your tortilla and cut parallel strips 2 inches apart from each other across the entire tortilla. For smaller roses, a shorter strip works better than a thinner strip. So the edges of the tortilla work best for the smaller roses while the middle longer sections work best for large roses. Spread a nut butter or honey across all the strips. You may also sprinkle cinnamon to taste. 

apple roses recipe tutorial (2)

Take your individual lengths of tortilla and place the apple slices along the top slightly over the back edge of the tortilla length and fold the bottom over the bottom of the apple slice, see the picture.

Now it is time for the rolling!

Be ready to get messy. Starting at one end of the beginning need to be as tight as possible without breaking the apple. Start with a tight roll and complete down the entire strip of the tortilla. Be sure to have your muffin tin with liners if you like ready. You will want to place them directly into the muffin tin at this point. Doing a couple as practice is helpful because you want your Apple roll to fit along the edges of the muffin opening to prevent opening of your rose.

apple roses recipe tutorial (3)

Complete with the rest of the strips and the rest of your slices of fruit. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 30 minutes peeking in occasionally to take out in the case of any burning edges. I found that with my plum slices I need aluminium foil liners. And with my apple and pear slices, normal paper liners worked very well. In fact, the apple and pear slices don't even need liners if you don't want them or don't have them. If you like the glossy look you can drizzle them with honey after they come out of the oven. Arrange on your tray or in a pie pan (like me). 

apple roses recipe tutorial (4)

That's it! Now you get to have fun arranging your apple roses in whatever beautiful arrangement you like. And then your lovely guests will (hopefully) thank you for getting to eat them later after gazing at them.

Like I learned in Japan, food that's pleasing to the eye is just as important as the food that is pleasing to the tongue.

I used both pears and Jonagold apples in these pictures. Can you tell which are which?

Apple Roses Recipe

  • 2 Jonagold apples
  • 2 large tortillas
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice ((optional))
  • 3 cups water (or apple juice)
  • honey ((optional) to drizzle for shine)
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees F.
  2. Place 3 cups of water (or apple juice) in a bowl. Add cinnamon and lemon juice if available.
  3. Wash, core, and thinly slice apples. Place into bowl of water or apple juice.
  4. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. If apples are pliable, take out, and place slices on wax paper to cool.
  5. Slice tortilla in 2 in. slices. Spread honey or nut butter over each slice. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
  6. Place each apple slice on top of each tortilla slice, slightly overlapping and leaving an open strip underneath. Fold that open strip up over the bottom edge of apple slices.
  7. Then roll them up slowly preventing apple slices from slipping and edge from unfolding.
  8. Place into a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tin to hold in place better). You may use liners but you don't need to.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove, place on serving tray or pie plate. Spoon honey over the top of each rosette for shine. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

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Want to take it a step further?

Host an Ethnic Prayer Night with your friends! It’s like a better form of potluck.
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