Wednesday, October 28, 2015

French Apple Roses Mini Tarts

It is Spring time in Australia and the roses are blooming everywhere. In contrast, it was a little different about six months ago...

Instead of seeing real blooming roses, apple rose tarts were blooming everywhere in our last Autumn. Yeah... at that time, baking apple rose tarts with puff pastries was such a viral thing in Melbourne. If you are not a Melbournian, can I ask if the same time was happening at your place now or six months ago?

Thanks to Cooking with Manuela! Even the kids in my son's after school care can bake pretty apple roses tarts so easily! The trick is to use puff pastry... It helps to align thin apple slices and make rolling the apple slices extremely easier. The rolled puff pastry also helps to create gaps in between the apples slices so that sliced apples do not have to be extremely thin and bendy.

Seeing the pretty roses blooming now, I like to revive the baking of apple rose tarts again. Instead of using the recipe from Cooking with Manuela, I'm making my apple roses tarts with a slightly more challenging way... One is because I like to try baking Ina Garen's highly rated and reviewed French apple tart recipe at Food Network. Two is because I like to try baking prettier apple tarts by rolling the apples slices with no pastry in between! Or maybe because I have a good mandolin to use... and "flaunt"? LOL! Glad that I have managed to survive this slightly challenging way of baking apple rose tarts. Absolutely no doubt at all that Ina Garten's highly rated and reviewed French apple tart recipe is always good to deliver fantastic result. And whether it is Spring or Autumn, we are loving these pretty apple tarts!!!

Before showing how I baked these tarts... Remember that I have said earlier that we are going away for another holiday soon. This time, we are going to Singapore from end October to mid November. Yay!!! ... and I promise that I'll be back soon for more bake-alongs and more Mango baking with Little Thumbs Up (November) hosted by Jozelyn. Ta!

French apple roses tart Barefoot Contessa
My French Apple Roses Tarts made with Barefoot Contessa's French Apple Tart Recipe
Like the recipe from Cooking with Manuela, I'm using a 12-hole cupcake pan to bake my little tarts too.
Here, I've greased the pan with cooking oil spray and dust some flour on the greased cups.
Instead of using the pastry to align and roll the apples slices, I'm cutting the pastry using a heart cookie cutter and arrange in a cupcake pan so that the pastry cases also look like flowers.

Next, I need to cut the apples into thin slices.

Remember that I mentioned at here before that I was a chicken whenever I had to use a mandolin. The thought of slicing my own hands send shivers down my spine. Ewww...

With this Salad Bar Super Slicer (Donaldson), I'm so happy that I'm not a pok pok gei anymore!!!

Salad Bar Super Slicer that is extremely safe and efficient to use!
Why is this mandolin called a super slicer? ... because it can chop, slice, dice and chip into all sizes!
Unlike some cheaply made and dodgy mandolin (yeah... like a-so-called-made-in-Japan one that I bought from ebay), this mandolin is sharp enough to make swift move but won't slice your hands!
It has four different removable inserts that can slice the apples into different thickness and julienne.
See this!
I'm happy that the sharp blades on the inserts are safely stored in this casing that is provided with this product.
Good! This means that I don't have stock up too many band-aid! LOL!
To make red pretty roses, you can use either red delicious or pink lady apples.
To prevent the apple slices from turning brown, I have to do these quickly and immediately.
Allow the thin apples slices to rest and soften.
Then line 10-12 slices in a straight line overlapping each other.
Feeling happy to see these pretty roses :)
After baking...
Are you thinking of Bon Jovi's Bed of Roses? LOL!
It's tea time!
Now, let me relax and enjoy my bed of delicious flaky buttery roses... LOL!

Here's the recipe that I have fused from Food Network (Ina Garten) and Martha Stewart

Make 8 little cupcake sized (1/3 cup) tarts
For the pastry:
200g (1 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
10g sugar
125g (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, diced
80ml ice water

For the filling:
2 medium red delicious or pink lady apples
30g caster sugar, divided into 20g and 10g
1 lemon
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

cooking oil spray and flour to grease and flour a cupcake pan
Icing sugar to serve

For the pastry:
Using a food processor or by hand, place flour, salt and sugar in either the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or a large mixing bowl. Pulse for a few seconds or mix with a spoon to combine.

If you are using food processor, add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together.

If you are making the dough by hand, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture to form crumbly mixture with small bits in the size of peas. Add ice water gradually and gather the crumbs to form a dough.

On lightly floured surface, knead dough very briefly to form a ball. Do not over knead (so that your pastry will be flaky). Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hr.

To assemble the tart with filling:

Grease and flour 8 cups of a standard 12-cup cupcake pan. Combine 20g sugar with ground cinnamon.

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out of the rolled dough. Arrange four pieces of cut dough, with the top of the heart facing upward, into each of the 8 cups. Gently press dough at the base of each cup, to ensure the bottom is fully covered. Place the cupcake pan in the fridge to chill while proceeding on the following steps.

Using a mandoline, cut apples into very thin slices. You can cut the apples by hand but the slices won't be as uniformly thin. Sorry to say that you can't do this without using a mandoline.

Transfer apple slices in a bowl (preferably high proof as you might need to microwave the apples subsequently) and squeeze the juice from a lemon on top of the apples immediately and this step will stop the apples from browning. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the apples and stir to coat the apple with the sugar thoroughly. Allow the apples to rest in the room temperature for 10 min. After resting, the apples will soften up and become pliable. If the slices are too stiff to bend, transfer to the microwave and heat for 20 to 30 secs.

Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge. Arrange 10 to 12 apple slices lengthwise in a straight line, overlapping each other, on a piece of parchment paper. Starting at the end closest to you, gently and tightly roll the apples. Try not to stop once you have started to roll. Carefully transfer the rolled apple into into one of the prepared pastry cup. Repeat rolling apples, until all of the pastry cups are filled.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C. Sprinkle the assembled tarts with another 10g sugar. Transfer to oven and bake until the crust is golden and apples have cooked, about 30 mins.

Remove from oven. Let the mini pies cool in the pan for about 15 mins and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Dust tarts with icing sugar just before serving.

Happy Baking
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  1. Zoe, how could you bear to eat such pretty roses? I love them!! I love how you cut the little hearts and stack them in little pastry cases :)

  2. Oh ! I got "hooked" to your lovely French Apple Roses Mini Tarts ... can't take my eyes off at these pretty lovely mini tarts!

  3. Spring is such a great food season

  4. These are absolutely beautiful! Enjoy your holidays, Zoe! I'm sure gonna miss you. ^.^

  5. These look so pretty... can't take my eyes of it!!! Love the idea of making it in a muffin pan and the shape is really amazing...

  6. Oh such pretty roases... and what a cool way of cutting heart shaped dough to form the base...superb

  7. These are so cute!!
    What a chic presentation.

  8. These are so cute! And I'll bet they taste even better than they look. Spring is such a wonderful time of the year, isn't it? Enjoy yours!

  9. Oh! Those are lovely tarts. I adore you! You're talented.
    Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Oh these are gorgeous an soooo simple zoe! I've been seeing a lot of these 'rose' tarts recently and I'd love to make some soon, these are too easy to put off making! Although I've been craving a traditional apple pie with a lattice top, really want to make that soon!

  11. pretty and yumm..... :)

  12. Love the handy kitchen gadgets & your tarts look fabulous, Zoe! Happy Halloween, babe! xoxo

  13. The apple roses are romantic and gorgeous! And I have a heart shape cookie cutter just like that a sign?
    Have a wonderful trip. I have never been to Singapore but sounds exciting!

  14. If I were to be your kid, I would be the happiest kid in the world. This french apple roses mini tarts are so beautiful. I love them so much, how not to be a happy kid with a mom like you, Zoe.

  15. That's so clever, using two hear shaped cutouts for the tart base! I have a similar V slicer too, used once and now in cold storage... must dig it out to use again.

  16. Oh wow these look so pretty :)