Cooped inside for over a week with actual chickens, and climbing over 4 young adults, 3 dogs, and 1 hubby, I said to myself:
“You know what would be a fun, easy and delicious way to cheer everyone up? APPLE ROSES!”
According to a sadistic baker on line, with a perfectly clean and spacious kitchen, this should do the trick. She had pictures and an “easy how to video!” encouraging me and telling me this should only take me approximately 20 minutes, two apples, and a roll of puff pastry dough to pull off.
And someone else assembling it for you.
I’m thinking she left that last part out and is sitting somewhere in seclusion with a huge glass of wine, laughing her ass off and waiting for all the uploaded failed attempt pictures to start rolling in.
Unfazed by her perfect teeth and unnatural smile, I punched preheat on my oven, grabbed a knife and started in.
Step 1 was simply to cut the apples in half with the peel still on and slice the halves paper thin because the edge of the peel is supposed to look amazing like the red edge of a rose, and the paper thin is so the slices are easy to manipulate once they’re warmed in lemon water.
Only she lied.
20 minutes TOTAL prep time? Nope. I’m calling bullshit on this one. It took me almost that long hunched over the damn apples, squinting through my glasses and cursing as I alternately sliced too thin and too thick pieces, tossing them into the lemon water as fast as I could before they could brown in the swear infested air.
Step 2 seemed easy enough and here, I really thought I’d make up some time since the dough came ready made. I admit it was in my freezer for at least a year, pulled in and shoved back half a dozen times with aborted plans to make this or make that, so maybe I’m partially to blame.
Except when I carefully unrolled it, the sheet of dough came apart like I had opened a bag of shredded cheese. By now, the dogs had learned to swear and were sagely nodding and saying things like “wtf mom” and “damn girl, that looks BAD”. I smooshed the bits together, sprinkled flour and started to roll it back into a sheet. About 14 minutes later, now a full 34 minutes into that “easy 20 minute treat”, I had something roughly shaped like Antarctica. I decided that was as close to a rectangle as I was going to get, and proceeded to step 3.
The recipe called for apricot preserves, I had strawberry so strawberry it was. I thinned it like Satan instructed in her video, carefully picking out big bits of strawberry, and spread a thin layer over Antarctica.
Next I took the not very thinly sliced apples and layered them along one edge of the jammy dough, sprinkled on some cinnamon, and started to roll the first “rose”.
The woman looked adoringly at me as she rolled her own rose within seconds and plopped it with finesse into a buttered muffin tin.
Now it was my turn only they were hard as hell to roll. The apple slices were too thick and not very soft. The jammy, squishy dough kept coming apart and the slices kept popping out as I rolled and swore and scraped the globs of dough that refused to play along, sticking in clumps to my counter. I just sort of smushed and jammed them into place. Patting each “rose” like a toddler pats a cat to keep them from escaping the tin.
I surveyed my bouquet with a great deal of annoyance, now an entire hour into this endeavor and stuck the tray into the oven with one final cuss.
45 minutes later, having shoveled out my kitchen and hosed it back into a rough semblance of cleanliness, I pulled the apple treats from the oven. Using a pairing knife and a new batch of swears, I freed each blossom from its carmelized prison and set them on a plate with a dusting of powdered sugar.
I have to admit they looked fairly decent despite their inauspicious start and I patted myself on my back for enduring in the face of such adversity. I high fived the dogs, reminded them that people swears are only for people because dogs know better and people are, well, people, and gave them each a slice of ham for staying with me to the bitter end.
I’ll be here all week folks. Dont forget to tip your waiter, bon appetite, thank you and good night.