Roses for Rose
Greetings! How’s everyone doing? Enjoying the break in the crazy hot weather? I love the rain, I have been able to spend a many a night cooking because things have cooled down. Sadly the evening storms have brought more than wonderful rain, they’ve also brought me some painful headaches. Took me down for the count one day, so I did what I always do when sick. Crashed on the couch, constantly drinking tea, watching (and often sleeping through) movies and shows on the TV. My true nature, sick or not, is to binge watch and rewatch all kinds of stuff. I grew up watching movies again and again, and when I got older and things like Netflix came around, I’d watch TV shows again and again. I like listening to them when I’m cooking, or knitting, or when sick, because I don’t need to pay super attention. I already know it’s going to be good, and I can relive some hilarious (and sometimes heartbreaking) moments. So given my current illness and the excitement of new Who, I decided to start back where it all began for me. I’m here to tell you a story, so sit back, relax, get a cup of tea and listen to my tale.
I didn’t start watching Doctor Who until the reboot in 2005. Shocking right? Here I am writing for Mile High Who, doing Dalek cosplays, and generally all about Doctor Who, but I didn’t start with the classic episodes brought up from birth?! Nope, and that’s totally ok. Fandom doesn’t require that you start from the beginning, at least not in my book. Now since then I have seen a several of the classic Who story arcs and love them just the same, but back to the very first episode. I had seen a few clips of episodes on PBS but never watched a full episode until one afternoon in Seattle in 2005. A few friends of mine heard about the reboot, and being more cultured that I was, knew immediately that it was a continuation of one of the longest running TV shows ever made out of Britain. So of course, we sat down to watch it!
Rewatching the first episode again after having seen all the rest, I can see a lot of jokes and little nods to the classic series that went straight over my head. These make the rewatching even more enjoyable! Plus who can forget the plastic rubbish bin eating Mickey. I’d love to do a bin cosplay, but I don’t think many people would get it, maybe for Halloween some year. Oooh, thought, for Halloween someone could go as Mickey, with his hands stuck to the plastic bin, and use the bin to get truck loads of candy! I like this idea *makes a note in the To Do list*
Okay, so where was I, ah yes, back in 2005 I met the 9th Doctor and I’ve been hooked ever since. Now I’m betting that most of you are either like me, starting from the 9th Doctor, either when it originally aired or because some wonderful person sat you down and said “here you need to watch this!” or you could have been a fan of the classic series and excited that it’s been brought back. Regardless of what camp you are in, you have to love the Doctor and Rose. Okay, I can hear the screaming now, the complaints over not liking Rose for this or that, or not liking Christopher Eccleston, or even not liking the production quality or the sophistication of the aliens in this first season. But hear me out. Without this season, without Rose and the Doctor, without the popularity it gained, the rest of the seasons might not have gotten made. So no matter what you personally feel, you have to give it up to the two of them for making this comeback such a wonderful success.
Now onto the fun part! In honor of Rose and this first episode, I’m making some Roses! No not the flowers, but some delicious apple roses that are easy to make and that will delight those who are lucky enough to be brought a dozen. These look amazing, but aren’t complicated. Now that’s not to say they won’t take a little bit of time, but it’s so worth it. And even more, there are levels! You can make everything 100% from scratch or you can buy things to get you 90% of the way there with just some assembly required! Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive in! These are easy to do but my recipe is very from the seat of my pants, just take a breath and give it a try. You’ll be surprised how easy these are to make (and everyone else will be super impressed)!
- 2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry
- This is the easy way out, you can also make your own pastry dough, like a pie crust to do this, but I didn’t want to scare you away just yet 😉
- 2 Apples, preferably Fuji, Pink Lady, or some similar firm red apple.
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla Extract
- Sugar + Powdered Sugar
- Cinnamon or similar pie spice mixture
Step 1: Thaw out the puff pastry
If you’ve ever worked with puff pastry before you know that it’s like a thick sheet of dough folded 2 times like you would a letter. Trying to work with this while it’s frozen is just going to end up with broken shards of dough. So let it thaw out first. I recommend at least 2 hours, though if you have a crazy hot kitchen then perhaps not so long. Of course this step can be completely skipped if you’re making your own dough or even our own puff pastry. When it’s ready you’re going to lay it out on a counter with some flour and roll it out, the idea is to make it a bit thinner than it currently is. Don’t need to get it paper thin, just keep it rectangular and all will be well.
Step 2: Cut the Apples
This is going to be the trickiest part for some of you. Requires some knife skills and or a mandolin. Start by cutting the apple in half, North pole to South pole style. Cut the apple in half, then put the cut side down on the table and start slicing the apple. Here’s the tricky part, you want to cut very thin slices, not paper thin, but maybe 1/8 or 1/16″. The thicker they are the harder they are to roll up. Using a knife and very steady hands or an adjusted mandolin cut the apples. Then take each slice and remove the tough center bit with the core. I have a small biscuit cutter but any edge, even a spoon will work to cut out the centers:
Step 3: Soften the Apples
Now that you have the thinly sliced apples you need to soften them up. Most of the online recipes for this will tell you to add a little water and a little lemon juice in a bowl and microwave the apples for a few seconds. Hate to tell you but I don’t have a microwave so I did this a little different. The goal here is not to cook the apples but to soften them up to make them easier to roll. The thin cuts help with this but you need a little heat. Now the benefit of doing this without a microwave is that instead of water and lemon for me, I used butter. Say it with me “BUTTER”. You can also add other flavors to this, I did a version with cognac and it was delicious. But I digress, here’s what you do. Take a shallow skillet and melt some butter in it, and then add in a layer or two of apples. Put over medium heat and keep stirring and flipping, making sure they don’t burn or cook. The main thing here is to heat them and make them soft. When they are done put them on a plate and cook up the rest of them. Depending on how many you’re doing this can easily be done in batches.
Step 4: Cut pastry, blend cream cheese
Take the thawed and rolled out puff pastry and cut it into roughly 3 inch strips.
In a small bowl, take the cream cheese and mix it with some sugar (1tbl maybe) some cinnamon and/or pie spices (1tsp) and some vanilla extract (1tsp). I don’t have specific amounts listed because it all depends, do you want really sweet? Do you want it full of spice or just mild? Take a risk and mix up some and taste as you go until you get it right. Remember that the apples have some sweetness too so don’t add a ton of sugar to the cream cheese. You also don’t need a lot, this is just to add some creaminess to the roses to combat the dryness of the puff pastry.
Once you have the cream cheese mixed up, take a strip of puff pastry and add a layer of cream cheese spread on to the pastry. Don’t do it crazy thick otherwise it’ll all squirt out when they get rolled.
Step 5: Layer the apples and roll!
Okay, now’s the fun part. Lay down some apple slices along the top edge so the apples are sticking out above the pastry. The slices should overlap each other slightly.
Now fold over the lower half of the pastry on top of the upper half. Leaving the apples peaking out from above the pastry. Pat the pastry down sticking them together.
Now start at one end and roll up the pastry and apples like a log. You may need to hold the apple slices in place but for the most part just roll them up. When they are rolled up put in a lightly greased muffin tin.
Step 6: Bake
Now you’ve got your beautiful apple roses ready for the oven:
Put them into a 375 degree oven for about 40-45 min. The puff pastry should be cooked, the apples may have a bit of color. Keep an eye on them. Or do like I did, set a timer for 40 min and go watch another Doctor Who episode!
When the timer is up, take them out, let them cool down a bit, and then pull them out and put them on a plate or in a bowl. Then make another batch if you’d like! When they are completely cool you can dust them with some powered sugar to add a little dash of flair and a dash of sweetness.
Take these to your next event and all the guests will be declaring these: “Fantastic!”
I’m also pondering making a different version of these with pepperoni and a jalapeno cream cheese. If someone beats me to it, let me know how it works out! And if you just make these delicious apple roses, think of Rose when you eat them and let me know how it turned out!