My husband doesn't have a sweet tooth (or fillings!) but is plagued by a wheat allergy. So, coming up with a Valentine dessert can be a bit of a challenge - - especially since I don't want to consume yummy dessert calories alone.
By combining rosebuds made from apple slices into a pie crust, I am able to create a beautiful dessert that we can both enjoy on Valentines Day!
Step 1: Gather Materials
- 6-8 Red Apples (I had 6 roma apples on hand)
- Lemon Juice
- Large bowl of water
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Muffin Rings
- Round Plastic Lid, or cookie cutter, which is ~2" larger than muffin ring
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet (with a rim)
- Your Favorite Pie Crust - homemade, store bought or a GF version - see Step 3
Step 2: Prepare Apples
- Because the peel of the apple will be used to accentuate the top of the rose petal, thoroughly wash but DO NOT peel the apples.
- Quarter the apples and discard the cores.
- Using a mandolin with the thinnest setting available, slice the apple quarters and soak in a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Cover and place the bowl of prepared apple slices in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Step 3: Gluten Free Pie Crust (optional)
- Mix in a food processor:
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Xantham Gum
- After adding the following to the food processor, pulse 3-4 times (mixture will be coarse)
3 Tbsp cold butter, chopped
- Then add the following and pulse until dough forms a ball:
1/4 cup Milk
1 Tbsp Vinegar
*I used Bob's Red Mill products and found that this recipe can be re-rolled to make 10 muffin ring size crusts, or 1 large pie crust. Because GF products do not contain the protein found in wheat, a fully baked crust will not result in the same color as a traditional wheat-based crust.
Step 4: Form Mini Pie Crusts
- Place Muffin Rings on a baking sheet that has been covered with Parchment Paper.
- Roll the pie dough into a large sheet and using plastic lid (or cookie cutter) that is 2" larger than the base of the muffin ring, form individual rounds.
- After carefully lifting a dough round, bring 4 sides of the dough to the center and slip it into the ring.
- Next, flatten each dough round against the side of the muffin ring, creating smooth edges.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and let cool.
Step 5: Form Roses From the Apple Slices
- Create a syrup by microwaving Brown Sugar, Butter, and Cinnamon for 30 seconds.
- Place a tablespoon of the syrup on the bottom of each pre-baked crust, reserving the leftover syrup for the last step.
- Working with a small quantity of sliced apples at a time, microwave for 15-30 seconds until they are pliable.
- Create the center of the rose by gently rolling a softened apple slice around itself.
- Overlap another apple slice around the center of the rose, forming a bud.
- Continue adding slices until you are no longer able to hold the bud together between your fingers - or about 1".
- Place rosebuds in the pre-baked shells. (Consider filling gaps with smaller apple rosebuds, dried cranberries and/or nuts.)
- Drizzle leftover syrup over the apple rosebuds.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Step 6: Bake, Cool, Display, Yum!
- After the tarts have been allowed to cool, loosen the muffin rings and gently release each pie.
- Display proudly (because they are so pretty).
- Serve at room temperature either naked or with whipped cream. (Couldn't resist...puns intended)
- Expect loving compliments to flow!
Second Prize in the
Valentine's Day Contest