Mother's Day is fast approaching and for the past week or so I've been wondering what to make for my Mum this year. Of course I could make her some elaborate chocolate showstopper, or something equally indulgent, but knowing that my Mum is very conscious about the types and quantities of fat that she includes in her diet such bakes really wouldn't have been appropriate for her.
So, wanting to make her something which was relatively healthy yet eye catching, I recalled the pretty vibe of our apple roses which I made last year and was inspired to make this family sized apple rose tart.
Of course pastry itself isn't the healthiest of choices having invariably been made with butter packed with saturated fats. But having successfully made a vegan pastry just last week for our Beetroot & Lentil Pie, which was so much healthier having been made with an olive oil, I knew that that vegan pastry recipe would be perfect for this healthy Apple Rose Tart. This pretty tart recipe does include a certain amount of refined sugar, a total of about 85g, but the individual serving quantity would be minimal once this posh apple pie is divided between guests.
As I say, apple rose tarts are essentially a posh apple pie having been constructed with pastry and apples, but the impact it brings once it's brought to the table far out weighs that of a regular apple pie. It certainly has aesthetic appeal, resembling a bouquet of pretty pink roses. And, just to confirm, apple rose tarts certainly aren't style over substance! Their flavour is as delicious as you would expect from any apple pie recipe. Beautiful pastry. Apple. Cinnamon. And a hint of custard. Surely perfect flavours.
Now, I have to admit that apple rose tarts are time consuming to make, and can be a little fiddly at first when starting to roll the apple roses, but with a little patience the rolling technique soon becomes an awful lot easier! And of course your Mum, or other special person, is surely worth the time and effort when making something as delicious and aesthetically pretty as an apple rose tart.
So, here's how to make an Apple Rose Tart!
bouquet of roses. They're just as delicious as any apple pie. This one is healthier having been made with an olive oil which is substantially lower in saturated fats than butter.
Hands on time: about 1.5 - 2 hours Cook time: 30 - 37 mins Yield: 1 large tart, serves 6 - 8 people
1 x 22cm Loose bottomed tart tin.
Mandolin or Box Grater with slicing facility
For the Pastry
- 280g Plain Flour (white) + extra for rolling out
- Pinch Salt
- 60g Icing Sugar
- 70ml Light Olive Oil (or sunflower oil, vegetable oil, rapeseed oil)
- 5 - 6 tbsp Cold Water
For the Filling
- 2 medium to large Bramley Apples
- 1 - 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 level tbsp Birds Custard Powder
- 1 - 2 tbsp Ground Almonds
- 5 or 6 Red Eating Apples (we used Jazz)
- 1 Lemon, juice of
- 1 tbsp Apricot Jam (ideally smooth) slackened with a tsp water.
a) Preparing the apple roses is fiddling and time consuming, but the more you make the easier the technique becomes. b) You may find it easier to shape the apple roses by laying a line of apple slices (slightly overlapping) on the work bench and then rolling them up on the bench. I found it easier to roll them between my fingers and thumb. c) Aim to purchase the reddest eating apples you can find. d) The apples need to be sliced very thinly to allow them to be rolled into a rose shape. It's unlikely you'll achieve this by using a knife to slice them. We used the slicing facility on a box grater. Do be careful if you choose to use a mandolin! e) Use the mandolin carefully, remember it is very sharp! f) If you don't have baking beans available to use, uncooked rice is a great alternative. It can be used time and time again. g) Consider using a microwave to cook and soften the eating apples rather than using a pan of water on the hob. They will need about a minute in a bowl of water in a microwave.