Cooking and I have a somewhat interesting history together. Although early on we kept an easily accessible collection of take-out menus for the less than successful outcomes, these days the majority of food stuffs attempted do come out pretty well. Regardless of this progress, I still have a love-hate relationship with preparing/acquiring food.
In an ideal world, the food would just show up. Once, we vacationed at Club Med and miraculously, a wide variety of food was available at every meal without ever having to figure out what one wanted to eat. No cooking. No endlessly contemplating menus or restaurants. Just the happy ease of walking around and putting a little of whatever looked interesting onto the plate and voila!
It doesn’t help that I gravitate towards every manner of food that I shouldn’t eat. Ice cream yes; green vegetables not so much. So, unlike so many people who seem to have a love affair with food, I find food irritating and negative; ranging from hating to eat it to hating myself for eating it.
Therefore, when I discover a food item that is pretty and easy to make and isn’t totally verboten, it’s one of the rare times that food makes me happy. Granted, this rose-shaped pastry isn’t kale or broccoli; but it isn’t as bad as a doughnut or bagel with cream cheese.
Below, is a still from the instructional video for making rose-shaped apple pastry from “Cooking with Manuela” located here – http://shareably.net/rose-shaped-apple-baked-dessert/. Looks so fancy!
- Four apples – I would use semi-tart apples, typically what you would use in an apple pie.
- One lemon
- Four tablespoons of apricot jam – I use Hero, a German jam that is efficiently engineered without fillers.
- Two sheets of puff pastry – The video says one but considering the package comes with two, why not just use the two?
- Cinnamon, sugar, honey – These are optional.
- Flour – You’ll need this for rolling out the dough.
Some of the following may not be terribly obvious from the get-go. For example, I put the pastries on a cookie sheet before realizing that’s not what she used because I totally squirreled while watching for the first time.
- One rolling pin
- Two muffin tins
- Cutting board and knives
- Measuring spoons
- Large and small glass/ceramic microwave-safe bowls
- Pastry brush, or silicon brush
This is the part when you watch the video located here: https://youtu.be/5rGrwvEjZIQ. The video is two-minutes long so you can give it a full review to familiarize yourself with the process and then another view to follow the steps.
Handy tips during preparation:
- Open the package of pastry dough right away; even before gathering the ingredients. It takes about 25 minutes at room temperature to get pliable enough to work with. Don’t try to unfold it ahead of time, though, it will break.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit after you put the dough out to thaw and gather your ingredients.
- Don’t start the assembly process until the dough is pliable.
Handy tips for the apples and jam:
- When you cut up the apples, really try to make the apple slices as thin as she demonstrates. See that one ugly pastry below? Thick apple slices don’t work.
- Don’t worry about the lemon seeds getting into the bowl when you juice the lemon. You’re going to hand-pick the apples and can avoid seeds at that time.
- I ended up having to microwave the apples for four minutes, stopping half-way to stir the apples around, very gently. The slices need to be pliable. However, too long and you get applesauce. I’d start with two minutes and add additional time in increments of one minute, testing the apple pliability.
- For the double recipe above, use three tablespoons of water when heating up the apricot jam.
Handy tips for assembly:
- I only got five pieces out of each sheet of pastry dough instead of her six. When I cut them into pieces, I gave another once-over with the rolling pin lengthwise to elongate the pieces. Because the pastry dough is folded, you can roll the dough fairly thin. However, too thin and it breaks.
- She uses a spoon to spread the jam. I recommend using a brush. It distributes the jam more evenly.
- Along with the cinnamon, which is a nice touch, you can sprinkle a little sugar too, or maybe a few dabs of honey; especially if you’re using tart apples. Really, it depends on your taste. I didn’t use any sugar and they were really tasty anyway.
- Make sure the apples do stick out beyond the dough. You’ll want them to be able to expand outwards a bit, like petals.
- On the video, the rolling looks so easy. The apples need to be flexible or the rolling isn’t going to happen. If the apples aren’t flexible enough, just stick them back into the microwave for 30 seconds and test apple flexibility again.
Handy tips for cooking:
- She says to cook the pastries for 40-45 minutes. Note, that she is using a silicon muffin tin. If you use a metallic muffin tin, such as aluminum, the pastries will be done in closer to 35 minutes. I’d check at 30 minutes just to make sure they don’t burn.
You can see that mine are slightly dark resulting in the timing adjustment noted above. Thankfully, I caught them before the pastry burned. All things considered, I think the average person would say they resemble the photo, so a visual success. They are very tasty, a perfect breakfast treat, so I’m going to call this a success. Kitchen gremlins zero; Suzanne one.