Apple Rose Pastries | Problems Solved

No two ways about it. These gorgeous Apple Rose Pastries are absolutely impressive! Great to make for a special occasion like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or even en masse for a special brunch, they are sure to create quite a stir. Be prepared to blow your guests away and in the process become quite a sensation yourself. 

Puff pastry apple roses, baked rose apple pies, apple rosette pies

A word of caution though... which unfortunately I learned the hard way. There is a possibility that your roses could be undercooked in the center which will leave you the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.


COMMON PROBLEMS

There are heaps of posts and wonderful videos dedicated to the recipe and the technique to create and roll up the rose pastries. But, reading reviews, I found many people, just like myself had encountered problems with the cooking time, temperature, burnt bottoms, burnt petals and undercooked dough in the center. So disappointing after all the effort that goes into making them.

Try as I might, I could not find one post that addressed how to fix these problems. So, I took to my test kitchen and experimented countless times to try and figure out how to solve these problems.

And I think I've got it!

Right below this is my recipe for the Apple Rose Pastries. But the main focus of this post is to address all the common problems and how to solve for them. These helpful tips follow soon after the recipe.


Puff pastry apple roses, baked rose apple pies, apple rosette pies


THE RECIPE: APPLE ROSE PASTRIES


Makes : 12 Apple Rose Pastries

INGREDIENTS

☐ 1 lb sheet puff pastry
☐ 3 tart, crisp red apples 
☐ A thick jam of your choice (orange marmalade or apricot jam works best)
☐ Cinnamon powder 
☐ Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


METHOD

Step 1: Prepare the apples

- Cut the apples in two and remove the core.

- Cut each half into thin slices.

Thinly sliced apples for rose petals for apple rose pies or pastries


-Place the slices on a plate and microwave them for 30-45 seconds, just long enough to make the apple slices flexible (not soft).

Thinly sliced apples for rose petals for apple rose pies or pastries


- After softening the apple slices in the microwave, place them between 2 sheets of paper towel to absorb all the excess moisture.

- Cover with cling wrap and cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Step 2: Prepare the dough strips

- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough into a thin rectangle. 

- Divide the pastry into 12 strips, no larger than 9 inches x 2 inches.

- Use a knife or pizza roller to trip the strips to the desired size and save the scraps for something else.

-Spoon 1/3 teaspoon of thick jam/marmalade into the center of the strip and spread. Be sure to keep to only spread the filling in the center leaving the sides clean.

- Sprinkle with cinnamon powder.

How to make apple roses with puff pastry



Step 3: Make the roses

- Starting about 1/2 inch from one side, start placing the apple slices so that they overlap one another and peek out slightly over the top of the pastry.

- End the apple slices about 1/2 inch from the end of the pastry strip.

How to make apple roses with puff pastry


-Fold the bottom of the pastry strip to just cover the bottom of the apple slices.

- Push down gently along the length of the pastry strip to adhere the apples to the pastry.

- Using a little bit of water, seal either end of the pastry strip properly and push down to create a good seal.


How to make apple roses or rosettes with puff pastry

- Starting from one end, loosely roll the pastry into a rose.

How to make apple roses or rosettes with puff pastry


- Make sure to seal the end of the pastry properly with a little water. This will prevent the jam from leaking out and burning on the baking tray.

Puff pastry apple roses, baked rose apple pies, apple rosette pies


Step 4: Bake

-Place the roses on a baking tray or cupcake tin lined with parchment paper.

-Pop the tray in the freezer for 1-2 minutes to cool the pastries down.

-Then place the tray in an oven, pre-heated to 375°F.

-Bake for 35 minutes to 45 minutes until golden brown on the underside.

How to make apple roses or rosettes with puff pastry
A golden brown underside tells you when the pastry is done.


- Remove from oven. Cool before sprinkling with powdered sugar and serve.

- Best served with ice cream or a sweet caramel sauce as these pastries are only mildly sweet.

Puff pastry apple roses, baked rose apple pies, apple rosette pies



A MUST DO

Before I delve into the problems and their solutions, I cannot stress enough on how important it is to try baking one pastry the day before to time how long it takes for your pastry to puff up. This is because everybody's ovens are slightly different and it might take a little longer in your oven than mine.

The baking time also depends on what puff pastry you use, how thin you roll the strip and how tight or loose you make the roll. 

You can omit adding the sliced apples to the pastry. But you cannot omit doing a test run with just the pastry and the filling the day before. 

Depending on how long it took for your test pastry to fully bake, just add 5 minutes to the cooking time when cooking your actual rose pastries on the day you plan to serve them.

I would suggest rolling out all your pastry strips the day before and test baking one of them. Store the rest of the strips in a ziplock bag ready to use the day of. It also cuts your prep time down drastically especially if you plan on making a big batch.


PROBLEM 1: 

HOW TO AVOID UNCOOKED DOUGH IN THE CENTER

This is one of the most common problems and a lot of it has to do with your dough, the size of your pastry roll and your oven temperature. 

1. Start with chilled pastry dough
  • Work with chilled pastry dough. Defrost the pastry in the fridge, not on the countertop. Puff pastry at room temperature will become too soft and floppy, causing the layers to stick. Don't overwork the dough.
  • Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on the work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.
  • I like to roll out the dough directly on my cold, granite countertop to help keep the dough cool.
2. Size matters
  • After you roll out the dough and divide it into strips, be sure that each pastry strip is strictly 9 inches long and 2 inches wide. A strip larger than this will give you a larger pastry roll that will take longer to bake with a greater chance of uncooked dough in the center.
3. Roll it real thin
  • Roll the pastry strip really thin. The thinner the pastry, the sooner and better it will cook in the center. The center might not end up being as crispy as the outer side, but that's mostly because of the moisture from the jam and the fruit, not because it is under cooked.
4. Prep the apples correctly
  • Use cold, dry softened apple slices to prevent the pastry dough from softening up and becoming soggy which would happen if you used warm, moist apple slices.
  • After softening the apple slices in the microwave, place them between 2 sheets of paper towel to absorb all the excess moisture.
  • Cover with cling wrap and cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.
How to make petals for apple roses or rosettes with puff pastry
These Gala apple slices have been sitting in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Even though I did not use lemon juice, they have retained their color beautifully.


5. Roll loosely
  • After placing the apples and folding over the dough, roll up very loosely. This gives the pastry room to expand. 
6. Give it room to expand
  • If you think about how puff pastry works, it expands and puffs up under heat. So, place the roll on a parchment lined baking sheet so that it has enough room to expand and puff up.
  • If choosing to use a cupcake tin or ramekin cups, the roll should not fit snugly. It requires at least 1-2 centimeters all round so that it has place to expand.
7. Chill before baking
  • Once the rolls are ready, pop the baking sheet in the freezer for 2 minutes to cool down the pastry. This firms up the butter in the pastry. So once the pastry hits the oven, the cold butter takes longer to melt which allows the pastry to hold it's shape better.
8. Master the right oven temperature
  • This one is the most difficult part to pin down. You want a pre-heated, HOT oven since puff pastry puffs up best when placed in a hot oven. The water in the layers of dough and in the butter turns into steam. And it is this steam that pushes apart each thin sheet of dough to create the crispy puff. 
  • So what is the right temperature? Somewhere between 375°F and 400°F. Everybody's oven is different so there may be slight variation in results. I opt to bake my rose pastries at 375°F since I found the jam leaking out and burning on the hot baking tray at 400°F.
  • I recommend doing a quick dry run a day before with just one pastry length filled with jam and rolled up. 
  • Place the test pastry uncovered in the oven and time how long it takes to turn golden brown and puffy. (approximately 30 minutes). So, when baking all the apple roses the next day, just add about 5 minutes to the baking time. 
  • Important: Keep the apple roses covered loosely with a tin foil tent right from the beginning to prevent them from browning too quickly. This way the petal edges retain the beautiful apple skin color.
  • For me, the apple rose pastries baked on a parchment lined baking sheet at 375° F for 35 minutes got the expected results. But remember that YOUR BAKING TIME is 5 minutes longer than it time it took your test pastry to bake.


PROBLEM 2:

HOW TO AVOID A BURNT BOTTOM

A blackened burnt underside of the pastry is usually caused by the jam leaking out of the pastry and caramelizing into burnt sugar on the hot baking tray. 

Don't overfill your pastry with jam. Use only 1/3 teaspoon of jam and be sure to place it only in the center of the pastry strip leaving room around all 4 sides.

Be sure to seal the end of the pastry with a little water to prevent the seam from opening up and the jam leaking out. If the jam leaks out, with the high heat the sugar will quickly caramelize on the baking pan and burn. That will not just look bad but taste real bad too.



PROBLEM 3:

HOW TO AVOID THE PASTRY STICKING TO THE PAN

The most surefire way to avoid the pastry sticking is to place it on parchment paper. No greasing required. It just slides off.

If using a cupcake tin, make parchment paper liners for the tin by cutting the paper into 5 inch squares and then folding it over a small tin of tomato paste to form the liner.

Puff pastry apple roses, baked rose apple pies, apple rosette pies
These beauties are ready to go into the oven.



HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS TO EASE PREP TIME:

The Day Before:

1. Roll out your puff pastry and create the pastry strips. Don't forget size matters.  (Strictly 9 inches x 2 inches). Store them in a ziplock bag until ready to use the next day. 

2. Bake your test puff pastry roll (without the apples) and time it.

3. While the pastry is baking, slice up your apples, pop them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until they are flexible (not soft). Don't bother with adding water and lemon juice to them. Mine did not turn brown without that step.

Once they come out of the microwave, place the slices between 2 sheets of paper towel, cover with cling film and place in the fridge until it's time to assemble the pastries the next day.

Baking Day:

1. Assemble your puff pastry roses quickly and efficiently with all cold items (pastry and apple petals). Do not bring them to room temperature.

2. Be sure to cover the pastry roses with a loose foil tent as soon as you put them in the oven.

3. Baking time for the Apple Rose pastries is 5 minutes longer than it took your test puff pastry (without the apples) to bake.


Wishing you success on this baking project!

Puff pastry apple roses, baked rose apple pies, apple rosette pies



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