What you need (makes about 12 mini tarts):
4 rose pink colored baking apples — I used Honeycrisp
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp butter
Juice of a 2 lemons
A pinch of salt
Pie crust dough, ready or homemade (my homemade recipe is here)
Cupcake tray, round cookie cutters, slightly bigger than the cupcake cavity.
Peel, core and dice two apples. Combine it with brown sugar, cinnamon, water and pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add a tsp of butter. Cool it down a bit and puree it to a smooth paste. Mix in half the lemon juice and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll out the homemade pie dough to about 1/4-inch thickness on a flour dusted surface. Measure the cupcake cavity in the cupcake tray. Use a round cookie cutter that is 1/2-inch bigger than that. Cut out circles and press them into the cavities to form pie cups that resemble tart shells. Use a form and poke the dough to give it a few dots. Refrigerate it until your little roses are ready, about 30 minutes.
Now, on to making the rose petals. Cut the remaining 2 apples in half. Core out the seeds. Use a vegetable peeler and make thin slices of the apple, trying to keep a piece of the skin on the edge. Soak the apples in a medium bowl of cold water mixed with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Bring it to a boil until the apple slices are soft but not soggy. Place the apple slices in a row with the edges touching each other. Roll them into a cone to resemble a rosebud. When the rose is large enough to fit into your mini pies, place them into it. Do this until all the 12 cavities have roses in them. Pour or brush it with a spoon of apple butter that you had made earlier.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the apples are slightly browned and soft and the crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cool, with some whipped cream or ice cream on the side. Enjoy!
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