As a northern country Russia enjoys a bounty of fruits and berries. Apples are relatively easy and cheap to grow, and so it's no surprise they’re a main ingredient in many Russian desserts. If you ask a Russian housewife what she can make out of apples you'll be surprised by the variety of options: dried, soaked, baked, conserved, leavened and stewed. You can do almost anything with apples, and the only limit is your imagination.
I'd like to offer a recipe how to make yummy apple pastries with a modern twist – crispy apple roses. They are incredibly easy to make, and need only the simplest ingredients. Sounds good, right?
Ingredients for 4 roses:
- 250g puff pastry
- 2 medium size apples
- ½ lemon
- 1 egg
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- plain flour for dusting
- icing sugar for serving
Thaw your puff pastry at room temperature for about 30 minutes. To work the pastry it should be very smooth and soft. As the pastry thaws prepare the apples by removing the core and cutting thin slices. The thinner the better: it will help to roll our roses easily.
Put the apple slices in a clear bowl and cover with boiling water. Add lemon juice and leave apples for about 7-10 minutes until they are soft enough to bend without breaking. Cooking apple slices in hot lemon water also prevents them from changing color. When ready dry the apples slightly with paper towels.
Dust your working surface with flour and unwrap the smooth pastry. Using a rolling pin stretch the pastry into a big and thin rectangular shape. Then cut the pastry into four equal strips.
Beat one egg with 2 tablespoons of water and coat the surface of each strip with egg wash slightly. Now you have to prepare the filling. In a small bowl simply mix sugar with cinnamon, and spread your stuffing over the strips evenly. Then place the apple slices on the top half of each strip, slightly overlapping them. The slices should stick out of the strips a tiny bit. Fold the bottom of the pastry over the apples and then again coat the remaining pastry surface with egg wash.
Next, carefully roll the pastry to form rose-shape buns, and place the roses in a regular cake pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes at 180 °C (350 °F) until fully cooked inside and brown outside.
Move the pan to a lower oven rack in case the apple tops start to burn.
Generously dust with icing sugar and serve warm. Here are your roses: fresh, crispy and not at all prickly. The taste is even more insanely delicious if you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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