I am done with traditional apple pie.
I admit this post was meant to be about how I excel at pie crust making. How I can combine a few ingredients like butter, salt, flour, and water and create a flaky sensation.
I won’t lie, I am confident in my pie-crust making, because I was (sort of still am) a Martha Stewart acolyte. In my early teens, before Martha Stewart’s financial woes, I was fascinated by Stewart’s uber-domesticity. I put her on a pedestal and felt enormously guilty I wished Martha Stewart was secretly my mother. My mom on the other hand thought it was pretty funny, I would be so taken by this woman who valorized home keeping. She wasn’t hurt. Rather she was happy another woman was helping to championing her daughter into the world of food and home life.
Like my own mother, Martha Stewart has elevated “homemade” to the level of gold standard. Gingerly — they have this innate ability to convert simple ingredients into dazzling creations. With life’s competition between domestic and professional goals/responsibilities, I find myself trying to reinterpret what my mother or Martha would do.
In the case of pie crust making, I always have to ask myself, “Is it worth all the trouble?” I don’t know. Sometimes it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoy apple pie. However, for me, traditional apple pies have a disproportionate apple to crust ratio. The layers of apples leads to crust sogginess, which I detest. I find myself always wanting more flaky crust.
This apple rose pie originated out of a mixture of resourcefulness, love of pretty desserts, and naturally wanting to eat pie. Each apple rose is larger than a hand pie and smaller than a fat slice of normal pie. Plus each apple rose is the perfect to serve individually. Leaving generous opportunity to eat ice cream, vanilla of course, or fluffy whipped cream.
In my opinion, a homemade fruit pie with a flaky crust (just like Martha Stewart makes) is the ultimate fall dessert. (Okay, any time dessert). But what could possibly make a good pie even better? Transforming them into mini-roses. Yes, the flower shape. I don’t know about you, but all mini desserts are beyond cute. Adorable in fact. These mini pies, will have people swooning over the prettiness of them. These are perfect for entertaining, maybe even a dinner party. The rose form helps to contain everything in its own flaky, tender crust, making it less messy than a traditional fruit pie.
These beauties are not all about looks. They are surprisingly yummy, very easy to create, and provide a good crust-to-filling ratio (remember, this is mandatory). The blend of ground fennel seeds and cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom offers a unique and spicy rendition to traditional pie flavours. The best part is that you don’t have to be boxed into thinking apple is the only way to go. These can be reimagined with pears, nectarines, peaches, and of course plums.
Did I mention it’s easy? I’m a convert.
Apple Rose Mini-Pies
1 sheet of puff pastry dough (thawed)
6 tablespoons sugar
Juice of half lemon
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Powdered icing sugar for dusting
Cut apples into quarters, remove core, and then cut into thin slices.
Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice and put to boil. When it starts to boil longer bring to a roaring boil and set aside. (This helps the apple slices become pliable). Remove the apple slices and dry on paper towel and let them cool.
Unfold the puff pastry dough, (if the pastry dough is not completely thawed, it works easier. Try to keep if very chilled). Sprinkle the remaining sugar (amount of sugar can increase or decrease, if you prefer) and ground spices. Cut the dough into strips about 1.5 cm. On each strip arrange the cooled apple slices, slightly overlapping.
Roll the dough into rose forms. Place each rose one a tray lined with baking paper and place in a hot oven that is preheated to 375F. Bake until crisp and browned about 18 minutes. Remove the roses from the oven and cool. Dust with powdered sugar after they have cooled.