Rose Apple Tarts

At my current job, we have a pretty great tradition called Cake Tuesdays. The premise? Every Tuesday, an allocated member of staff brings in cake or related treats. While it does have the downfall of getting those late morning sugar cravings every day, Monday always feels a little bit better for knowing Tuesday will involve cake. I like to be creative on my cake days and needed something to follow my rainbow cake last time.

So my cake day crept up on me last week and I only realised the day before it was my turn. There are these little rose cakes I’ve been meaning to make for some time so I thought I’d give that a go. I’d decided to use my mum’s famous Dutch Apple Cake recipe to make the pastry and determine the proportions and based the design on something I found on this blog. Like with the Apple Cake recipe, this cake definitely improves with age so ideally you’d make making it 1-2 days before (which is usually actually really convenient, isn’t it?). Excuse the rustic look of these – you will need heart shaped cookie cutters (which in my last minute hurry I’d forgotten to check) and preferably a rolling pin. Otherwise like me, you’re stuck with my customary bottle of rum for rolling the pastry and cutting the heart shapes out rather rustically with a knife. But on the upside, it gives it that really homemade look right?

Ingredients (same as the Traditional Dutch Apple Cake’s)

For the pastry:

– 300g flour

– 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus a little extra for greasing the tray)

– 100g sugar

– 2 eggs

For the filling:

– 3 large cooking apples, preferably quite a sour variety

– 75g sugar

– a few tbsp lemon juice

To serve (optional)

– dusting of icing sugar

How to make it…

1. First, preheat the oven to about 170°C/Gas Mark 4. Make the pastry by kneading the
butter, flour, sugar and 1 and 1/2 eggs together until you’ve formed a smooth, round ball. Leave this in the fridge or a cool place for around 15 minutes to rest. Grease a muffin cake tin tray with a little butter.

2. While you wait, core and halve the apples and slice into thin disks. If you have a mandolin, this might make this job a lot easier but I was fine just using a knife. When you have sliced all your apples, add 75mg and several tbsps of lemon juice, tossing them around to ensure an even coating. This will stop the apples from browning and will also help to soften them for later.

3. Take your pastry out of the fridge. Roll out the pastry on a clean, floured surface roll out your pastry until it’s about 3mm thick. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter (or a knife to similar effect for that rustic look) to cut heart shapes into the pastry, using 2-3 hearts as a base for each rose depending on the size of your muffin forms.

4. Next, add the sliced apples. These should have softened in the time it took you to roll and cut the pastry, allowing you to bend them gently. Use the softer ones to do from the outer layer of your rose petals, mirroring the outer ring of the pastry. Try to repeat this as often as possible, using the harder pieces of apple that break in the middle of your roses.  

5. Finally, use your remaining 1/2 egg to glaze the pastry (I actually skipped out this step on this occasion and really regretted it, it’ll really add to the final presentation).

6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, and leave to cool on a cooling rack. This cake is best served cold, so keep it in the fridge. The flavour definitely improves with time for this bake, so ideally you’d want to make this ahead of time. To serve, dust with icing sugar.



  1. Looks delicious! Having spent the last 33 years being the husband of the lady who makes the famous Dutch Apple Tart, and (for slightly fewer years) been Dad to the lady who has produced such dainty Rose Apple Tarts, I can testify that any sweetmeat even remotely related to its Hollandic ancestor will be a treat to the taste-buds as well as to the eye. When are you visiting next?


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