This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
These Puff Pastry Apple Roses are a deceptively easy, elegant dish that dazzles as an appetizer or dessert!
Can we agree that we’re all Thanksgiving-ed out? If you don’t celebrate it, you’re like, “Shut up with your dumb national holiday already! And PS those Pilgrim hats look stupid.” And if you do celebrate it, you’re like, “I have 647 things to buy at five different grocery stores today and a whole house to clean and an entire meal to prepare and I also need…uh, I mean, “my friend” needs to watch some YouTube videos about how to roast a turkey. I do not have time for any more Thanksgiving recipes!”
I get that. I’m a little Thanksgiving-ed out too, and it hasn’t even happened yet. Solidarity, sister!
Soooo, instead of calling this a Thanksgiving recipe, I hereby name it a generic “holiday” recipe, good from now until the new year. Sure, cranberries are involved, but cranberries are invited to the table throughout the fall and winter months. Let’s not pigeonhole it just because of a few red berries.
I mean, sure, these gorgeous puff pastry roses would make a beautiful appetizer at your Thanksgiving feast. And who am I to stop you if you want to serve them alongside your other Thanksgiving desserts, or maybe as part of a cheese course, if you’re the type of fancy muckety-muck who does a cheese course? (Actually, I do a cheese course too, but it mostly consists of me asking myself, “Do I want some cheese? Of course!”) The roses, generic holiday suitability notwithstanding, would feel quite at home on a Thanksgiving table, is all I’m saying.
These puffs, although beautiful, are deceptively simple. They start with some store-bought puff pastry dough, cut into long strips. On top of that are layered apple slices (simmered for a few minutes to soften them up), a bit of cranberry sauce, and some slices of crazy delicious gouda cheese. Roll that puppy up, pinch the bottom closed, bake it off in a muffin pan, and baby, you’ve got yourself a rose!
And, of course, you can shake things up a bit—try using sliced persimmons (or pears?) instead of apples, or swap out the gouda for another cheese. Omit the cranberry sauce entirely, or use a different jam—fig, quince, or apricot all sound really good!
This is one of those dishes that could easily be served as an appetizer, part of the main meal, or on the dessert table. The cheese gives it enough of a salty, nutty flavor to keep it from sliding straight to dessert-ville, but the fruit adds a sweetness that would let these roses shine right next to the pumpkin pie.
I tried to be clever and dyed some of the apples pink with cranberry juice. I think it added a really pretty effect, especially when I layered them with the regular apple slices in the same pastry. It’s certainly not necessary, though, and they will taste just as good (and look almost as pretty!) if you skip the apple pinkening.
And with that, I am officially done saying the T-word this year. Let’s all eat massive amounts of food, take giant naps, and reconvene here for more dessert shenanigans next week. Have a good one, lovelies!
Cranberry Chocolate Truffle Cake
Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce
Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Puff Pastry Roses – check out the web story here!
Puff Pastry Apple Roses
- 2 sheets prepared puff pastry dough, (16-17 oz total)
- 3 large apples, (I used Gala)
- 3 cups water
- 4 oz gouda cheese, (I used Old Amsterdam)
- 1 cup cranberry sauce, preferably homemade
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Defrost the puff pastry according to the package directions, and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Cut the apples into quarters around the core. Slice each apple section into very thin slices, around 1/8-inch thick or less if possible. Save any misshapen slices or end pieces for another use. Place the water in a medium saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Add the apple slices and simmer them for 3-5 minutes. You just want to cook them slightly so they’re pliable and can easily bend—do not let them get overly soft or mushy.
- Strain the apples out of the water and place them on a baking sheet covered with a paper towel to drain. Let them cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F, and spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry to a 12×12-inch square. (Leave the other sheet in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.) Cut the square into six long strips.
- Use a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer to slice the cheese into paper-thin slices. Give the cranberry sauce a few good stirs to break up any clumps.
- Brush the bottom of one strip of puff pastry dough with the beaten egg. Start laying apple slices along the top of the puff pastry strip, with the rounded part sticking above the dough. Overlap the slices slightly as you lay them down, and leave a small margin uncovered at the end of the strip.
- Spread a little cranberry sauce on the apples. A little goes a long way, and if you overfill it will spill out the top of the pastry and look messy, so try to go lightly on the cranberry! Add the cheese slices on top of the apples, and roll the puff pastry up. Brush a little egg onto the uncovered margin at the end of the strip, then press the pastry roll closed. Pinch the excess dough at the bottom of the pastry together—the egg wash will help it hold together.
- Place the puff pastry rose in the prepared baking sheet, and repeat until all of the roses are made. Bake at 425 F for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. If the apple slices start to get too dark or burn along the edges, cover the pan loosely with foil. They’re done when they’re puffed and they look golden brown along the sides.
- These pastries are best enjoyed a bit warm on the same day they were made.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
“Do I want some cheese? Of course!”
It took me awhile to get excited about Thanksgiving this year but now I’m all in and looking forward to tomorrow’s feast. But then it is only three weeks until Christmas, just wow!
I doubt if cranberries are in season in the spring but this splendid recipe easily makes the jump from winter holidays all the way to Valentine’s Day!
Thanks Deb! I always keep a bunch of cranberries in the freezer for year-round use, but I also think this would be great with just apples and cheese, so it could definitely be made in any season!
I feel like I say this about every single one of your recipes — but it’s because it’s true — HOLY GORGEOUS!! These are beautiful … I’m seriously adding this to our christmas morning brunch!
Oh, thank you Sharana! You are so sweet. I hope you love them!
These little appetizers are so beautiful!
Thanks so much, Lauren!
These look cute. I have an urge to add bacon to the roses….but I love to add bacon to everything!!
Thanks Lisa! Adding bacon is a great call–I totally support that!
Ok Elizabeth, here’s what’s happening. I’m coming over so that you can teach me how to make all these amazing recipes you do on your blog. Seriously girl, your creativity blows my mind! Absolutely LOVE the looks of this. Pinned!
Come on over, Kristi! Blogger baking date!
Just gorgeous! These roses are the perfect appetizer for entertaining! I’ll take anything with puff pastry and cheese. Now my head is spinning with wonderful flavor combinations.
Thanks Tiffany! Puff pastry + cheese go well with basically everything, right?!
These are so pretty and the combination of apple, cranberry sauce, and gouda sound delicious!
Thanks so much, Lexi!
Okay, its official…your a genius! I LOVE this!
Thank you Annie!
Look at you getting savory! I love it. “I would eat the whole pan” love it. And you know what else I love? Carl Weathers. “Baby, you got yourself a ______” never gets old.
I seriously use that phrase aaallll the time. It’s applicable to a surprising number of situations!
When you soaked the apples did you do it after you cooked them some or do you do it before?
Hi Jessica, do you mean soaked them with cranberries to turn it pink? I did it afterwards, and the water/cranberry soaking liquid wasn’t hot so they didn’t cook more and disintegrate, it was more room temp.
These look amazing!! Merry Christmas 🙂
Thanks so much, Marla!
Thank you, Kimi!
Hi! So happy i found these! I am making them for a party tomorrow night! Quick question, do you think they can be made up and rolled ahead of time (like the night before)? Then baked in muffin tins right before the party? Or do you think they need to be made up and baked right away? Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe!
Hi Lauren! I haven’t tried rolling them up ahead of time. My guess is that the apples will make the puff pastry soggy if it’s left in the fridge overnight. So the texture might be better if you do them shortly before baking. If you do try to assemble them early, please let me know how they turn out!
Hi ! Just wanted to let you know that we’ve added this recipe to our top 100 recipes for thanksgiving 2015! Check it out: http://ohmydish.com/100-best-thanksgiving-recipes-for-2015/ 🙂
I have found different recipes with varying temperatures. Does the pastry inside the apple rose cook while in for 25 minutes at 425? I’ve tried 375 for 40-45 minutes and 400 for 35-40 minutes. Both temperatures burn the tops of the apples for those times and the dough doesn’t cook through. I plan to cover them with aluminum foil this time so that, hopefully, they don’t burn.
Hi Alaina, The pastry in the rose cooks just fine–I think you can kind of see the flaky texture in the last picture with the pastry cut. Rolling the pastry pretty thin is a big help in making sure it cooks all the way through. I covered the tops with foil when they started to get dark and that also seems to help a lot. If you do wind up with some burned apple edges you can always trim them off with sharp kitchen shears. I hope they work out for you!
This is such a fantastic idea! And they turn out so pretty!
Thank you so much, Miranda!
I made your recipe yesterday with home made cranberry sauce, goat cheese, crushed pecans and unpeeled apples! Easy peasy. The roses turned out lovely and really delicious! I only had one puff pastry package so I rolled it out to 16″ x 16″ and made 8 apple roses with a single package. Worked fine. I did not peel the apples. To make red roses I just dipped the rounded “tops” in the cranberry sauce as I assembled to stain them red (no overnight soaking). Sorry, no pics I took them to a dinner party and they all were gobbled up!
BTW I wish I had a Trader Joes near me to purchase the puff pasty you recommended that only contained basic butter, flour, vinegar ingredients. The brand I had purchased (in oh so “old world” packaging) was made with FREAKING PALM OIL and a host of dough conditioners. Ugh. Sorry orangutans and indigenous Indonesian communities, we must have your trees to make holiday pastries…. I’ll know better to check ingredients more carefully next time… And I’ll call the company to let them know that I won’t be purchasing that product until palm oil is no longer an ingredient. Cheers! Happy Thanksgiving!!
Mary, thank you for the comment–I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! I definitely feel lucky to have access to good puff pastry, because it’s one of those things that’s really annoying to make yourself, but hard to find a good version of in stores! (If you have a Whole Foods or other more “natural” store around, that might also be a place to check for higher quality puff pastry.) Thank you and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I made these and mine came out looking just like the photo! YAY! What’s even better is that they taste as wonderful as they look. I found them easy to make and I used some canned cranberry sauce with a little bit of cherry almond syrup that I had but there are so many possibilities. This is such a winner! Thank you!
That cherry almond syrup sounds delicious! I’m glad you enjoyed them, thanks for your comment!