Mini Caramel Apple Pie Roses


These mini caramel apple pie roses are single serving ― this means that you get a rose all to yourself. Each serving has a traditional flaky pie crust shaped into a flower. The shell is filled with a salted thick caramel sauce and filled with thinly sliced apples in the shape of a rose. The apples are a bit more crisp than a typical apple pie, adding a bit of freshness. It's then topped with more salted caramel to finish it off. 
I think that this recipe is a really nice one if you're planning to go all out for a party or something and you're really willing to commit to a more challenging and time consuming recipe.

It's incredibly satisfying to work on these apple pie roses and then to bring them to a party where people can appreciate the work that you put into them. They're also great for sharing, instead of having a pie where everyone has to share, each person can grab one since they're already in individual portions. Moreover, they're so much more unique than the typical apple pie and taste less like a pie and more like a tart with the crunchier baked apples.

Since there are 3 main aspects of making this recipe, the prep time for each of them are ordered in order to save time. For example, when the pie crust is baking, the caramel sauce is being made. You can feel free to do it in another order, but I found this order ideal for efficiency. You can also split up the elements and do them on separate days if it fits your schedule. 


Mini Caramel Apple Pie Roses


Ingredients:

For the pie dough
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
16 oz (2 sticks) of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup of cold water
Cooking spray, butter, or canola oil

For the caramel sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbs water
6 tbs butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tbs salt

For the apple filling
2-3 apples (I used Fuji)
3 tbs sugar
1 juiced lemon

Special equipment
Food processor or blender
Heart shaped cookie cutter(s)
Mandoline (or grater with slicer side, see this grater's side for example)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare the pie dough by combining the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until well mixed. Add the butter and pulse. The dough should have a sandy and crumbly texture. 
  3. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers. If it's still too dry, add more water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour. 
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the caramel sauce: melt the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until amber in color. It may seem odd to just heat the sugar but don't worry, all is well. 
  6. Add butter and stir until dissolved. 
  7. Gradually add heavy cream and stir for about a minute.
  8. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt. Let cool.
  9. Shape the apple pie crusts: roll out dough so that it is thin, slightly thinner than when you make sugar cookies but not so thin that it breaks when you pick it up. 
  10. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out with the dough.
  11. Spray the muffin tin generously with cooking spray, butter the tin, or brush with oil so that the pie dough does not stick to the muffin tin. 
  12. Place about three hearts per cup into a muffin tin. Use the hearts to line the edges of the tin to make a cup shape with the bottom of the hearts overlapping to form a base and the top parts of the hearts on the sides, forming a flower-like shape in the tin. See these photos for guidance. 
  13. Using a fork, poke some holes at the bottom of each of the dough-lined cups. 
  14. Bake for 10-16 minutes, until the pie crusts have puffed up a little bit and have lost their doughy texture.
  15. While baking, prepare the apple filling: using a mandoline or a grater with a slicer side, cut apples in half lengthwise (like cutting apple slices) and remove the core. Slice apples very thinly. This is key to making the roses, since the apple will not flexible enough if sliced too thick. Place apples in microwave safe bowl.
  16. Make lemon juice and sugar mixture (for the apple filling) and pour over sliced apples to coat them.
  17. Microwave the apples. Remove after 15 seconds to stir them and distribute heat and then return to microwave for another 15 seconds. Let apples marinate in the lemon and sugar mixture. If the apples are still crisp (if you bend them they break) then repeat the microwaving process until they can be bent without breaking. 
  18. Once pie crusts have been baked and have cooled, add about 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce into each mini pie crust. 
  19. Using the apple slices, allow them to lean against the inner walls of the crust, curving with the shape of the crust. Continue adding apple slices that curve with the walls in order to make the outer petals of the rose. When you reach the center (the whole cup is filled with apples), make a tight cylinder with a softer apple and place in center to complete the rose. 
  20. Return pies to oven for an additional 20-25 minutes.
  21. Remove from oven, let cool, then drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.

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