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Apple & Honeycomb Rose Tartlets

Shaped like roses with perfect petals, these individual tarts are as beautiful as they are tasty.  

Apple & Honeycomb Rose Tartlets

You'd never guess that something so elegant and wonderfully delicious is made in a muffin tin, but these beauties certainly are! Elegant and easy, these individual edible roses are the best dessert for a dinner party any time of year. I make my own dough . . . because It's Lauren, of Course! But you can buy the pie crust if that makes your life a little easier. After all, it's about technique, not torture!

Equipment: cutting board; chef's knife; mandoline (French or Japanese); microwaveable mixing bowls; food processor; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; pastry brush; rolling pin; 3-inch cookie cutter; muffin tins; cooling rack

Dough Ingredients: 1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons powdered sugar ½ teaspoon kosher salt 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1¼ sticks) 3 tablespoons ice water

Tart Ingredients:

3 red-skinned apples (Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Macoun)

juice of one lemon 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter 3 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons honeycomb

1. To make the pie dough: combine the flour, kosher salt, and sugar in a food processor for 10 seconds. Cut the butter into teaspoon-sized chunks and scatter over the flour mixture (while the machine is off). Very carefully pulse in 2-second intervals until the fat is the size of peas. With the machine turned off, drizzle the water over the mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form into small balls. If the dough will come together when pressed with your fingers, gather the dough, form it into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour. If not, drizzle a bit more ice water over the dough and pulse again.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

3. Cut the apples in quarters lengthwise, trim the quarters of the seeds and tough core, then slice each quarter very thinly using a mandoline. Place the slices in a large microwave-safe bowl filled with cold water to cover; add the lemon juice.

4. Microwave the apple slices for 3-4 minutes, then drain and pat dry between 2 clean kitchen towels or paper towels. Set aside.

5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut 12 circles using the cookie cutter. Press a circle of dough into each spot in the muffin tins. Place in the refrigerator.

“ILOC tip: If you don't have a microwave, you can place the apples in a small saucepan with cold water to cover them plus the lemon juice and heat until simmering for 4-5 minutes until softened but not cooked. The same goes for the butter and sugar: they can be melted over gentle heat in a small saucepan.”

6. In a small microwave save mixing bowl, melt the butter and sugar for 45-60 seconds. Stir well to incorporate and add the cinnamon and salt.

7. Remove the pastry-lined muffin tins from the refrigerator and brush lightly with the butter-sugar mixture. Place the apple slices one at a time in the tart shell, one overlapping the next unit you reach the center and have formed a rose. Fill in the center with smaller pieces of apple slices to make the rose shape as best you can. Brush with the butter-sugar mixture after every few slices are placed.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up and the apples are cooked, but not burnt. Let the tarts cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes, then gently remove them from the tin--perhaps with the assistance of a paring knife or small, thin spatula--and place them on a cooking rack.

9. Top each tartlet with a small tear of honey comb.

Makes 12 tartlets.

Serve the same day they are made, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for one day after which they must be refrigerated.

Apple-Honeycomb Rose Tartlets
I like to buy my honeycomb from the Savannah Bee Company. It's delicious and stores beautifully in its own packaging!

Acidulate Your Apple Slices

It’s a big word, but it’s a basic task.  When working in batches with apple slices, keep them in a cold water bath with freshly squeezed lemon juice.  They won’t oxidize and go brown this way.  Pat them dry as you use them. You can even send your kids to school with acidulated apple slices.  Don’t worry: they won’t taste of lemon . . . just crispy, juicy slices without a trace of discoloration.

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