These delicious French maple-glazed puff pastry apple roses are sweet, crisp and bursting with bright apple flavor. They're also easy to put together, can be made ahead and look like they came from a fine bakeshop!
Back in September, my sisters came to visit for a long weekend. There are six of us all together (including sisters-in-law), so there was a lot of talking, laughing, sweet reminiscing and... cooking! Yep, we all enjoy cooking, so we also spent time in the kitchen and shared some of our favorite recipes. One afternoon, my sister, Annie, gave us all a little lesson on making puff pastry apple roses.
You may have seen these simple little apple tarts online, in magazines or on Pinterest as they've been popular for a number of years now. I made them when they first went viral but had forgotten how fun, delicious and pretty they were.
Lots of rave reviews on these French puff pastry roses!
Since Annie's demonstration, I've made these apple tarts a number of times and have come up with my own easy technique. Each time I've served them, there have been lots of oohs and aahs and everyone has loved the tender-crisp pastry and the sweet cinnamon-laced apples. I asked Scott to take a few shots of the process of making these puff pastry apple roses so you could enjoy this delicious fall dessert too.
The ingredient list for these apple tarts is short: puff pastry, sugar, cinnamon, and apples. That's it. They're delicious on their own, although I like to pizzazz them up a bit when serving.
Sometimes with a shower of powdered sugar.
Sometimes with a drizzle of this Salted Apple Cider Caramel Sauce.
The technique itself is way easier than you would think when looking at these beautiful little tarts. You'll need 2 medium red-skinned apples for six tarts. I like to use Pink Lady or Honey Crisp apples but Gala, Fuji or your favorite baking apple would work.
Most recipes for these puff pastry apple tarts call for softening the apples in a bowl of water in the microwave. I figured out a technique I like better, as it retains all the delicious apple flavor. I simply sprinkle the apples with a few spoonfuls of sugar, microwave them for a minute, then let them rest a bit.
After 10-15 minutes there will be a nice bit of juice in the bowl with the nicely softened apples. I drain the apples and save the juice to use later as a glaze just before the tarts finish baking.
Puff pastry, the secret ingredient
Frozen puff pastry is the magical ingredient that makes these puff pastry roses super easy to put together. Although puff pastry is a complicated French pastry (pâte feuilletée) that requires lots of folding, chilling and loving care, it's now readily available to purchase at most grocery stores.
A simple technique
Just thaw a sheet of the frozen dough then roll it into a 9x12 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into six 2x9-inch strips. Sprinkle each strip with cinnamon and sugar and arrange a row of thinly sliced, unpeeled apples along the upper edge.
Fold the lower edge up with just the scalloped edge of apples peeking out.
Starting at one end, roll up the pastry like a snail then pop the whole thing into a muffin cup.
Repeat with the other 5 strips and refrigerate while you preheat the oven.
Then bake and watch the magic happen. All of a sudden you have these beautifully swirled puff pastry apple roses, each one a little work of art!
A few minutes before the tarts are finished, you'll brush them with a delicious (and easy!) apple-maple glaze. It's just the juice from the apples along with a splash of maple syrup. Super simple but it gives the tarts a beautiful, shiny glaze and adds another delicious layer of flavor!
Don't let this wonderful season pass without making a batch of these sweet, crisp puff pastry roses! Once you try them, I'm pretty certain you'll be serving them often!
Café Tips for making these Glazed Puff Pastry Apple Roses
- Puff pastry like to be cold when it goes into the oven. That's why the instructions say to refrigerate the unbaked apple roses. It won't "puff" nicely if the dough gets too warm.
- The most common puff pastry here in the U.S. is Pepperidge Farm. You'll find it at most larger grocery stores in the freezer section, usually at the end of the ice cream section or in the same area they stock the frozen pie crusts.
- The package says that the pastry will thaw on the counter in 30 minutes. It usually takes a little longer than that for me. Let it thaw until the pastry pieces unfold easily but don't let it get too warm.
- I like to serve these apples with a drizzle of this Microwave Caramel Sauce (the real deal) or this Salted Apple Cider Caramel Sauce (so good!).
- I love to serve these puff pastry apple roses warm. They can be made ahead and stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for two days. Just re-warm them for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- If you want to serve these tarts fresh from the oven, you can prep them ahead (up to step 9). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours then bake as directed below.
- No microwave? No problem! Just put the apples in a small saute pan and sprinkle with the sugar. Shake the pan a bit to get some of the sugar mixed in. If you try stirring, it tends to break the apples so it's better to just shake the pan a bit. Heat on low heat for 3-4 minutes, just until the apples start to soften a bit. Then remove it from the heat and let it sit right in the pan for about 10 minutes and proceed to strain the apples as directed in the recipe.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 2 red/pink apples I like Honeycrisp and Pink Lady but any red baking apple will work.
- 4 tablespoons sugar (divided)
- For the pastry:
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour for the counter
- 1 sheet Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm) (half of a 17.25-ounce package)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Thaw the puff pastry at room temperature for 30 minutes. When thawed, refrigerate until ready to use. Spray a 6-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Cut the apples in half, remove the core and slices into very thin slices. Leave the peel on - t will give the roses a beautiful red color. Place the sliced apples in a microwave-safe, medium-size bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Gently shake the bowl to distribute the sugar.
Microwave the apples on high power for 90 seconds then remove from microwave and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Transfer the apples to a strainer that’s been set over a bowl. Gently shake the strainer, then allow apples to drain for 10 minutes while preparing the puff pastry. Reserve the juice in the bowl.
Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 12 x 9-inch (30 x 22 cm). Cut the dough in 6 strips, each about 2 x 9-inch (5 x 22 cm).
Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle each strip of dough with a generous teaspoon of the sugar mixture.
Arrange the apple slices on the top edge of one of the strips of dough, overlapping one another. Make sure the top (skin side) of the apple slices sticks over the top edge of the strip. (See picture in post above.)
Fold up the bottom part of the dough so the edges meet (see picture in the post.). Starting at one end, roll up the pastry like a snail then seal the edge at the end by pressing the dough together with your fingers. Place the “rose” into one of the cups of the prepared muffin tin. Repeat with the other 5 strips.
Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator (see tips above in post about working with puff pastry) while you preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Bake the apple roses for 40 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with the syrup mixture (see directions below). Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until golden. (Cover the top lightly with foil after 25-30 minutes of baking if the apples are getting too brown.)
10. While the apples are baking prepare the syrup by adding the maple syrup to the reserved apple juice in the bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave for 90 seconds then remove and set aside.
See Café Tips above in post for further instructions, pictures and more detailed tips.
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