It makes me very happy to stumble upon a cake recipe that is both stunning and simple to make. It is not that I do not enjoy a challenge—on the contrary—but the beauty of simplicity is something I can readily appreciate. My Mom found this recipe on Youtube: it is not unusual that there is something useful in the 300 hours of video that are uploaded every minute. When my Dad sent me the photos and the link, I was hooked: I do not remember the last time I was so thrilled by a recipe, so it did not take long for the first try.
I followed the instructions in the video for the first try, and the only larger modification I made was in the microwaving time; I assume this has to do with the different strengths of microwaves. I strongly encourage using silicone muffin pans, as the sugar in the jam that inevitably leaks out likes to catch and burn.
I am using already rolled shop-bought puff pastry, but I allow myself this shortcut, as puff pastry is quite a chore to make.
In my interpretation of a flower bouquet, I used 8 roses. You can either make a double batch of the recipe and bake the remaining four roses in a muffin pan, or save the puff pastry for some other occasion.
(makes 6 roses)
2 red apples
juice of one lemon
1 sheet of puff pastry, already rolled (I bought the rectangular pastry in Migros, 27×42 cm)
a few tablespoons of apricot jam
a few sprinklings of cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 190 – 200 C. So far, I tried with 190, but I think 200 would be even better.
2. Prepare the apple slices. First, put the lemon juice in a large microwave-proof bowl and add a bit of water. Second, halve and core the apples, and slice them into slices, about 1-2 mm thick. As you slice the apples, mix them with the sour solution, adding a bit more water as necessary, so that they do not turn brown. Third, microwave the apple slices for 3-10 min (depending on the strength of your microwave), until the apple slices are soft and pliable. Drain the water and leave the slices in the colander to drain and cool.
3. Roll out the puff pastry a bit more, until it is about 48 cm long (so that the length is easily divisible by six). Cut into 6 equal slices.
4. For each rose, take one puff pastry slice. Spread a thin layer of the apricot preserve (about one teaspoon) on the puff pastry. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Arrange apple slices along the long side, overlapping each half, with the skin side protruding a bit out. Fold the puff pastry along the long side so that you get a long strip of two layers of puff pastry, with apple slices, jam, and cinnamon in the centre. Roll the strip tightly, and put in the muffin pan or arrange in a pan of your choosing.
5. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, checking that the apples do not burn and that the puff pastry is nicely golden and puffed in the middle of the rose.
5. These are best served still warm out of the oven along some home-made ice cream, but they will keep for one day.