Apple Rose TartsPosted: August 25, 2011 Filed under: Pastry, Sweet shortcrust | Tags: apple, apple rose, mini, pastry, sweet shortcrust, tarts 108 Comments
As some of you may know, I made it into Series 2 of The Great British Bake Off. The show is currently being shown in the UK on BBC2 on Tuesdays at 8.00pm. Each episode has a baking theme, and this week it was tarts. For the final round, we bakers had to present 24 miniature sweet tarts, of two differing types – so two batches of twelve. My butterscotch brulée tarts in pecan pastry didn’t get any airtime (*sob*) – but my apple rose ones did, and so I thought I’d post about them.
There’s three separate elements to these – the pastry, the filling and the decoration. The pastry is a crisp sweet shortcrust, and the filling, a delicious apple custard, is based on several 18th and 19th century recipes I found. The crowning glory though, are the apple roses – slices of apple poached in apple juice and sugar and then rolled into a beautiful rose. I’ve included a little diagram I put together to help show how the roses are created.
When my daughter saw these cooling on a rack, she exclaimed “Oooh! Apple posies!” – which I am REALLY tempted to use as a name because they’re so cute!
A name for the tarts, that is – not as a name for me. I couldn’t pull off cute in a million years.
Anyhoo – on with the recipe!
Apple Rose Tarts
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
250 g plain flour
125 g butter, chilled and diced
75 g caster sugar
1/2 lemon, grated zest only
1 egg, beaten
- Blitz the first 4 ingredients in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- With the motor running, pour in the beaten egg IN STAGES. This is important. Add about a tablespoon at a time and give the flour time to absorb the liquid. The mixture will comes together when sufficient liquid has been added.
- When the mixture has come together, tip it out of the processor and knead once or twice into a ball.
- Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
8 red-skinned eating apples – as red as you can find – I used Pink Lady
1 litre apple juice
500g caster sugar
- Stir the sugar and apple juice together in a large pan until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Cut apples in half vertically.
- Remove core and cut into thin (semi-circle) slices.
- Put the slices into the apple syrup and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until tender – You need the apples to be soft enough so that you can roll them, but not so soft as to fall apart. Depending on how thickly you sliced the apples, probably no more than 15 minutes. You’ll find that the colour from the skins leeches into the syrup, and turns the flesh of the apples a wonderful dusky pink.
- Lift the apple slices from the syrup with a slotted spoon and allow to drain/cool in a sieve.
- When cool enough to handle, lay out the apple slices as follows.
-  Place 1 slice of apple on the left-hand end of your chopping board, flat side towards you.
-  Lay the next slice so that it overlaps the first by half.
-  Continue in this manner until there are 12 slices laid into a single strip
- Lay out 12 strips, one for each tart. Cover with cling film until required.
Apple Custard Filling
3 Braeburn apples – or apple of your choice.
120ml extra thick double cream
1tbs lemon juice
grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1-2 tbs cornflour
- Mix the sugar, cream, egg, yolks, lemon zest & juice.
- Peel, core and grate the apples finely over a sieve to drain off excess juice.
- Stir into the egg/cream mixture.
- Put the cornflour into a cup and add some of the apple custard mix to it. Stir until fully combined. Stir cornflour mix into the main mixture.
- Heat oven to 200ºC, 180ºC Fan
- Roll out the pastry thinly – about 3mm.
- Line the holes of the cupcake tin with pastry by whatever method you prefer – I quite like the gently folded creases created by using a round cutter and parchment, but for a neater finish you could use the template method suggested here.
- Spoon in filling, 1-2tbs per hole.
- Roll up the apple slices, starting from the left hand side of the board. The overlaps will help keep everything together. Drop the resulting roses gently into each cup.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn pan 180 degrees, then cook for another 10 minutes, until pastry is cooked and browned.
- While the tarts are cooking, simmer the apple/sugar mixture over a medium-high heat until thickened into a syrup.
- Remove tarts from the oven, leave for five minutes and then remove from the tins. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
- Brush tarts with the apple syrup and sprinkle with a light dusting of icing sugar to serve.
NB Make apple custard tarts with any leftover filling and pastry – 10-15 minutes in the same temperature oven, or until filling is set. If making tarts larger than cupcake size, blind bake for 10 minutes to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom, then just 10 minutes with the filling!
Thanks so much for posting this. I and several of my friends have been talking about the Apple Roses since seeing the programme and it’s been a race to see who could track down the recipe first. Good luck in the rest of the series!
And you won! Congrats! Is there a prize? Or is the prize being first to get a batch in the oven? 😉 – Do let me know how you get on! M-A
Just watched that episode, can’t wait to have a go, they look fantastic!
Wow! I am so glad you’ve given the game away on how to make these. Beautiful little pockets of delight. x
Very clever idea – look simply stunning!
They look gorgeous. My 5 year old watched the programme with me and is desperate for us to have a go at these ….. I’m very relieved that I can now follow the recipe rather than trying to make it up and ending up with a soggy mess! Thank you and happy baking xx
These Rose Tarts are gorgeous! I love it!
me and my mum were amazed by those beautiful apple roses on the show, I’m going to tell her about this post right now so we can make some very soon!
These are so AMAZING! I cant wait to make them myself!!
Thank you very much for posting. Now I can make then soon.
Thank you all for your positive comments – for those of you having a go at making them, have patience – the apple slices are a bit fiddly, but so worth it. Have fun! M-A
So beautiful! Can’t wait to try these!
I’ve been looking for this recipe everywhere – I’m so glad I found it! After watching the Great British Bake Off last week, I was sure these would be a featured recipe on the BBC website, but alas, no 😦
So happy to find it here, quite by accident! Thank you. I really hope you make it far in the series – maybe you win! But I suppose you’re not allowed to give any clues away 🙂
I can’t believe I’ve found your blog – Wow!
Thank you so much for putting this recipe up – I can’t wait to have a go – I loved your bread tonight too – I almost cried when I saw your flowerpots – they were stunning!
[…] for Thanksgiving! Autumn approved! These Apple Rose Mini Tarts display apples perfectly arranged in the shape of a rose. They include; Crisp sweet shortcrust, […]
I made these with my daughter and they were fab – apple slices were a little fiddly but certainly well worth the effort and no one could guess how it was done.
Huzzah! So glad you tried them and had such success! M-A
Wow -Thanks for rec. They are fantastic – can’t wait to try them. Loving all the things you do. Can’t wait for next week to see what you do. Good Luck! Sallyanne
Just so you know, you’ve inspired me to start baking.
Going to give these a go (there is a first time for everything). I probably should start on something easier, but I have to do this, they are gorgeous!
Good Luck, Zoe
Thanks Zoe – so hlad you’re going to have a bash – just the kind of attitude I like!
To make life a bit easier, you could use stewed apple puree instead of making the custard filling. Happy Baking! 😀
Mary-Anne I am so rooting for you! I love your ideas and look forward to what your going to be baking next week on the show!!! BEST OF LUCK!!!! xx marika
Thanks Mary Anne. I’ve had great fun today making this recipe. I am quite possibly the clumsiest, messiest baker ever, yet even I managed to pull these off, with fresh apples from the garden. Good luck for the rest of the show. Nicki x
Just made these with my son Sam (11). They aren’t quite as pretty as the ones in the picture as we found rolling the apple slices quite tricky, but they taste delicious – and made with apples from our garden.
Good luck for the rest of the series. Sharon x
I’m so glad you posted this, my boyfriend and I can’t wait to make them, and hopefully for my birthday as well
thankyou so much
I love this recipe and have had my first attempt at making them, they look pretty good (even if I do say so myself). I have a lot of apple juice/sugar mix left over and was wondering if you had any tips on what to do with it, if you use it in any other recipe? I have made an apple loaf in the past and didn’t know if it could be used to drizzle over that to keep it moist. Any ideas would be much appreciated (I hate wasting stuff!).
Wotchers Helen – You could try simmering it down until it thickens, then keep it in a jar for glazing fruit tarts and tea breads. Hope this helps! M-A
So pleased you’ve posted this recipe, plus extra tips. 🙂 I loved the look & sound of them when you made them, beautiful! Now to attempt them myself, hope they come out like yours (gulp) as I’m planning on taking them over to friends on Saturday.
What a SUPER idea. I’m definitely going to give these a go – so pretty. Thanks for the inspiration.
These look stunning and i’m so glad to have found your blog, and the recipe! I really will have to give these a go 🙂 Shame about not seeing the brulee pecan ones on TV, though- they sound delicious!
Wow these are beautiful.Thanks for the recipe.Fell in love with these when watching the program.Great blog too.
Stunning. For these alone you should have won!
Wow, these look beautiful. I was a huge fan of your fun, innovative and unique creations. My whole family was gunning for you to win. You are extremely talented. Will definately try this recipe.
[…] sponge cakes. She has set up a food blog which is doing incredibly well already. Check it out here to see her rose apple tarts that won her high praise on the show and look so beautiful. Not always […]
wow mary anne thanks so much for posting your amazing recipe, sorry you didnt win but i was rooting for you all the way!, i have officialy decided you are my baking idol!
Such a beautiful recipe – how do I prevent burning the edges of the apples, but still bake the pastry cases? The ones I’ve made are pretty – but in a kind of scorched way!! (They still taste great by the way…)
Wotchers Nicola! You could either blind bake the pastry cases a little before filling them (and then cook them with the apples for a slightly shorter time) – or cover the tray with foil if they start to catch. Hope this helps – Happy Baking!
I thought these were the stand-out bake of the series – have never seen the apple roses anywhere else and think they’re beautiful.
OMG! These are incredible! I made them for my son’s High School Homecoming Dance where I made dinner for the kids before the dance. The theme was ‘The Final Rose’. I wanted to eat them all!!! Thank you! Kathy in Seattle
PS. might want to blitz the first four ingredients of the pastry in a food processor rather than a wood processor, unless I’m missing something???
Ha! I can’t believe the post has been up almost two months and no-one else spotted that! Thanks Kathy – corrected now 😉 – So glad the tarts were a success – you baked for an entire homecoming class? My mind boggles! Well done! M-A 😀
I found this recipe on your blog a few months ago & kept it for this weekend….I’m having a girls tea party tomorrow & am going to make these the centre piece of the 6 types of individual sweet treats i’m going to make!
Looking forward to making them, thanks for posting the recipe.
This looks really good! I want to try and make this but I can’t seem to find extra thick double cream will heavy cream work?
Heavy cream should be fine – just make sure that you drain the apple pulp of juice – don’t want the filling to end up too sloppy. Happy Baking! 😀
I made these yesterday and took them into work today…i have been receiving compliments all day, and people have been asking me for your recipe. I had such a great time making them, but was worried about how they would look when finished as I am quite new to baking, but they really did look amazing. Well worth the effort. So thank you!
Congrats Gillian – and well done for making them such a success! M-A x
Hello Mary-Ann. I had a go at the apple rose tartlets. I used quite small apples so the roses didn’t quite work, but I did a kind of fan effect instead. Also used the leftovers to make a larger tart decorated with apple slices. Am waiting patiently for them to cool to taste:). The recipe was good to follow and the apple custard really easy. Thanks you for Sharing your secrets. I thought you were the most innovative baker on the GBBO and would love you to have your own show! Thank you, Marguerite
Just made these, my oven is a bit cooler than it should be so I’ve just taken them out and they looked a bit pasty so I’ve popped them back in again for another 5 mins, I’m sure they will taste delish, but my biggest surprise is how beautiful they look, I can’t believe I’ve made something that looks so delicate and intracte!
Thanks for the recipe…next – chocolate orange mousse cake! (not mouse cake as I just typed!)
I am hosting a vintage tea party on Sunday this week and want to make these gorgeous tarts as part of my spread. Can you tell me are they okay made the evening before I need them- they won’t go soggy? Do I glaze them still after baking and then just keep in a cold room- not fridge? I loved the Bake Off and was very upset when you didn’t win- the basket of mini desserts lined with leaves was just WOW!!! I My colleague and I were in tears!
Thanks so much for such detailed instructions for these fabulous tarts.
Wotchers Mandy! Delighted to hear that the tarts are making an appearance at one of your ‘do’s! Ideally, these are best eaten on the day – it’s the fresh apple in the custard filling that might be your downfall if left overnight. My suggestion is either prepare the pastry cases & apple slices the night before and then whip up the fresh apple custard the next day and assemble/bake OR if you won’t have time, replace the apple custard with creme patissiere (which you could also make the night before) and assemble/bake on Sunday (or Saturday night). Glaze after baking (whilst still warm) but only dust with icing sugar just before serving. Hope this helps! M-A 😀
I made these a few weeks ago and everyone was very impressed. They tasted delicious too, especially the custard. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
Do you think the apple roses would stay in place on top of a cheesecake? (ie without pastry holding them in). I’ve a birthday cheesecake to make, and I’d love to incorporate these apple roses in some way!
Wotchers Baker! Are you baking the cheesecake? If so, you might consider having a nice crunchy pastry (e.g. the mince pie pastry on here) for the base and sides (bake blind for 10-12 mins, then add filling, bake 15 mins then add roses) – thereby solving the potential problem. The apple roses are surprisingly heavy, and so would sink quite a bit, and really need something to help contain them. Baking the filling a little before adding them would give a firmer surface for them to sit on/in. Hope this helps! M-A
Thanks so much for your reply, Mary Anne, I didn’t actually see it till after the event, however I did chance it and left overnight in my cold room and they were fine, am looking forward to trying some more of your lovely recipes and the ones from the bake-off book I got for Christmas. Thanks again.
I made a vegan version of this for my colleagues and is was a big hit! Thank you so much for sharing the secret to these beauties!
What did you change to make the recipe vegan? I was planning to make a batch of these myself and was not sure what to use for the egg and cream substitutes.
Ah, well I did have to deviate from the above recipe quite a bit.
First of all to make good vegan flaky pastry I used the the recipe for flaky pie crust from veganbaking.net, it’s the best I tried yet.
And as I couldn’t think of a way to make a vegan custard that actually tastes good and has a good texture I dropped the custard and made a paste of ground almonds, datesyrup (can be replaced by other syrups) and some apple sauce instead.
I blind baked the pastry, added the paste and apple and baked for 5 minutes more. Hope this helps.
So I want to know how many tarts is this going to be in total
Wotchers Tyra – it’s mentioned several times in the recipe – this is for 12 mini tarts. Happy baking! M-A
[…] first saw this idea on Mary Anne’s blog from The Great British Bake off and was so impressed that I had to replicate it. Though, I did […]
I made a mix of this and the original recipe. I used the vanilla cream and Mary-Anne’s pastry minus the lemon. The trial run with the original recipe was much too lemony for my taste.
They were a big hit and fitting for the occasion, a 60th birthday.
It’s a lot of work, but very much worth it for someone who appreciates it.
Wow, you’re brilliant! I’m going to make them for Easter Brunch, thank you for sharing your beautiful work!
Thank you for this recipe! It came out very well. I used four large Red Prince apples and it was a little more than enough for the tartlets. I confess I overboiled the syrup and it turned into more of a thick treacle but managed to glaze them while they were still hot.
Hi Mary-Anne, I’m going to try and make a large version but unsure if I should make individual roses and place together within the case or make one large rose. Any suggestions?
Hi Louise I have actually made a large version of the tart and it looks really pretty with lots of roses rather than one big one. The disadvantage is needing to prepare a LOT of roses, as you need to pack them quite close together to ensure they hold their shape. I would guess you’d need 20-25 roses prepared for a standard flan dish. An extra pair of hands when putting them in the tart is helpful too! Good luck, and let me know how it goes! 😀
Thanks for advice.
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I got 14 total, and a lot of extra apple “syrup” that tastes delicious on french toast! My family loved them – would make again if I had a food processor to help make it a little faster. 🙂 Cheers!
Does this recipe freeze well?
Wotchers Susan! I haven’t tried freezing it, but I’d say probably not that great – thawing might do odd things to the custard and the apple slices. If you risk it, do let me know how it goes! 😀
I don’t know how you managed to do these on tv – took me quite a while!! Worth it though – so pretty. Thanks for a lovely recipe.
[…] There is a pastry-shaped hole in our lives now that the Great British Bake Off has finished, luckily Susie is helping fill that hole with GBBO series 2 finalist Mary-Anne Boerman’s gorgeous apple rose tarts. […]
I think you could pull off the name apple posies, as i got to know you on the show and now here the word i associate with you most is cute!
Your recipes are amazing! Please please get your recipe book out soon!! And dont skip on the fantastic chatter before the recipes ^^
I found your recipe as I was looking for a twist on apples – I want to prepare something unique for my children’s teachers this Christmas! These are beautiful and my daughter Rosie fell in love with them! We converted the recipe (we live in the US) and did a dry run for Thanksgiving – They are amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!
Wotchers Christina! So glad you liked them – hope your Thanksgiving was fun! M-A
Thank you so much for providing this recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving so I subbed brown streusel in for the custard filling, and the resulting tart was not only beautiful looking it also tasted just like a traditional apple pie. I don’t do much baking and it was my first time making pie dough from scratch, so there were a lot of chances for failure, but thanks to your wonderful instructions it turned out great!
[…] Inspired by http://www.timetocookonline.com […]
[…] Adapted from Time to Cook – Online […]
Could these be frozen and thawed with good results? I really want to make them for my wedding reception, but I need to make them ahead of time. Thanks!
Ah, I see someone else wondered the same thing … that’s too bad that it likely won’t work out.
Wotchers Christy! My suggestion would be to make and blind bake the pastry shells (which could then be frozen). The day before, make a lovely thick vanilla custard and chill in the fridge. Then (also the day before) cook the apple slices and lay them out, and cover them with cling film (you could have one tray with lots of layers of slices stacked on top). On the day, just assemble the tarts. Hope this helps! M-A 😀
Your bakes looks amazing! As you are the most experienced baker I “know”, I am interested in your opinion. Recently I come across a new baking pan
Zila Cake Moulds- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeLw-UmnPfg
with you can made cakes with liquid filling. Have you tried this one, or you know someone who did? The finished goods looks amazing, but I would like to know someone who actually tried it. Reason to ask, because it is quite costly on Ebay, but I think it worth it, if it is really good.
Wotchers Olivia! They look fab! But yes, £45+P&P is rather hefty. If you’re adventurous, the manufacturer sells them for £36+P&P, but you would have to negotiate their website in Hungarian (I used google translate – seemed fine) This is their order page: http://tinyurl.com/cg6smgj Good Luck! 😀
Thanks for the site! I guess the postage from Hungary isn’t cheap, so would cost the same as from the Ebay. Anyway my birthday is only weeks away and I already gave some hints for my hubby what to buy:) Thanks your help and keep posting beautiful recipes
[…] past contestants. One of the things I have wanted to try for some time are Mary-Anne’s (Season 2) apple rose tarts. I found Mary-Anne one of the most interesting contestants on all three seasons of The Great […]
Hi Mary-Anne, we just saw your beautiful apple tarts on TV. They are so fabulous and we plan to make them ASAP. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. Karen and Paris.
did you know that Dutch television started their first series of “Heel Holland bakt”? In the very first episode your rose tarts were seen in one of the shots of a home baker’s ‘daily life’! So, your influence stretches all the way to the Dutch GBBO.
First, thank you for sharing this lovely piece of work. I wish I could have seen the program/contest but alas I don’t get BBC or BBC-America.
I’ve been trying to figure out what products to use to recreate these. Do you or any of the other readers have any suggestions of US ingredients? Particularly the corn flour and castor sugar. Thanks in advance!
Cornflour = cornstarch
caster sugar = superfine sugar
hope this helps!
I found this on Pinterest. These are gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it with us! I certainly wouldn’t be at all upset if you decided to post about your butterscotch brulée tarts in pecan pastry too! 🙂
Thank you for the kind words – the butterscotch tarts can be found here: https://timetocookonline.com/2012/01/19/butterscotch-brulee-tarts/
Happy Baking! M-A 😀
Thank you for the link Mary Anne! The tarts sound amazing! I can’t wait to try my hand at making them! And I love the tip about the brulée sugar!
WOW. I Love this! I am a bad cook but I want to try and make this for Mother’s Day, even if they don’t turn out well. This kind of thing makes me want to like cooking. Amazing. Thank you for sharing.
Please can you tell me if you can any of this in advance?
You don’t say how far in advance you mean – if it’s the day before, then I would say definitely the pastry and the apple slices – wrap/cover in cling film and keep in the fridge until required.
The filling is a little trickier, but if you wanted to simplify things, then switch it for custard and then assemble and bake the tartlets when required. Hope this helps!
Thanks for coming back to me – much appreciated. I was trying to be clever and prep as much as I could beforehand. My Italian class are going to sample my first attempt tomorrow! Pastry made and wrapped in the fridge today and I was trying to establish if the custard and apple elements would sit waiting in there as well, before putting together in the morning. Would the custard mixture keep any longer covered in the fridge if I have any leftover?
I see – because the apple is raw, I’d be concerned about discoloration if it sat overnight. One solution might be to mix everything EXCEPT the apple, and just grate them at the last minute tomorrow. Alternately, cook the apples to a puree now and when cooled, stir into the other ingredients and chill overnight – the finished taste will be slightly different, but only a little. Hope this helps! M-A 😀
Hi there. I just watched this on TV a couple of weeks ago (we are very behind on international shows here in NZ) and I fell in love. I am using the recipe for my food technology class and was wondering if you just mix the custard ingredients together or do you have to cook it (as a normal custard) first?
Not sure if you’re teaching the class or a student, but I have a suggestion either way!
If you need to simplify things, make each part separately, and just assemble when required. In which case you could cook the custard, bake the pastry blind (and avoid the dreaded soggy bottom!) and poach the apple slices a little longer so that they’re a bit softer. Then just fill the baked pastry cases and drop in the roses just before serving.
Does this help at all? Do let me know if you have any more queries. 😀 M-A
I am the student. We have 2×1 hour lessons to complete this, so plenty of time. was going to blind bake and prepare the different components in the first lesson and then just assemble, bake and present in the second lesson.
Was just wondering if your original recipe called for the custard to be cooked before the tart shells are filled with it or it was just cooked when the tarts are baked in the oven.
Tomorrow is the day! thanks for the suggestions. ^_^
Originally the custard went into uncooked pastry, but for an exam-type situation, I’d definitely go down the route I suggested. We don’t want any soggy bottoms!
You could always pop the completed tarts into the oven for a few minutes at the end, just to warm through, then glaze with the syrup afterwards.
Good luck! Do let me know how it goes! M-A 😀
[…] 16. Apple Rose Tarts […]
[…] 16. Apple Rose Tarts […]
[…] 16. Apple Rose Tarts […]
[…] Image via: miriel design , time to cook online […]
These are absolutely marvellous! I can’t wait to make them!
Hey I want to make this as a centre piece like a large tart… would that work… also I need to use soya based products so that its dairy free will that still work?
Your pastries are adorable. There are other techniques to making these you might want to try one day.
There is a chef on ChefTalk who made these with puff pastry and they way she made them was absolutely fantastic . Look for Apple Rose in the search bar. She said she made over 15 roses the size of cupcakes with just 400gr of puff pastry. Take a look at her pictorial. She only used apricot jam, apple, cinnamon and pastry.
Just a thought.
[…] 16. Apple Rose Tarts […]
Second time making these this past weekend. They were for a charity market and every last one sold 😀 I should mention I got 24 out of this recipe but thats probably because I made them slightly more petite.
I still have enough apples for another batch but I think I will make a normal size tart and freeze for christmas. Should I blind bake the pastry first or freeze it together and then bake it off? Also, how long will my apple glaze last? I have tons!! Haha. x
[…] finalist of the second season of The great British Bake Off wowed the nation with her Apple Rose Tarts. I’m quite sure the whole nation gasped in amazement as the episode aired when she presented […]