Rose apple pie will make a stunning addition to your holiday dessert table! The flavor of ripe apples really shines through in this lightly sweet, delicate, and attractive rose apple pie.
As those of you whom follow me on Instagram have likely gathered, I love pie. I especially love making pretty pies. Something about working with all that buttery dough is just so dang therapeutic!
With all the men-folk in the house, our walls practically ooze testosterone. I keep threatening to wear a rhinestone tiara and paint every wall pink, just to balance all the guy-ness out. Much to my family’s relief, I haven’t followed through on either threat. In the meantime, dressing up my favorite dessert with frills and flowers creates a little girly balance in my world.
Ever since I made that beautiful mango cream pie to resemble a rose in full bloom, I’ve been toying with the idea of arranging other fruits in the same pattern. I’ve made several incarnations based on the original mango cream pie recipe. I’ve arranged fruit on both a pastry cream base, as well as a no bake cheesecake base.
While all the pies were delicious, none of them were quite as pretty as the original. Peaches looked far too similar to the original. Papaya also wasn’t much different in color. Pineapple was too yellow to discern the pattern after assembly. Plums resulted in more of a withered rose appearance. Kiwi just looked weird.
Naturally, the Sons happily gobbled up the “failures” as fast as I baked them. They really aren’t bothered if their slice of pie isn’t pretty enough to make the cut. Men!
I eventually settled on using apples, for a rose apple pie.
With their rosy hued skins and all, the finished pie would be stunning. I quickly realized that manipulating fresh apple slices proved to be challenging without them cracking. Don’t even ask about what the finished pie looked like after the ultra-thinly sliced apples turned to mush in the oven.
After many attempts, I learned that briefly simmering the apples with sugar results in the best overall texture and appearance.
Now, I used a tart pan with a removable bottom for the purpose of photographs, but I assure you that a standard 9-inch pie pan works just as well. Roll out your favorite all-butter pie crust to line the pie pan. Once the apples have simmered and cooled, arrange the slices over the rolled pie dough. Working from the outer edge of the interior, place individual apple slices, skin side up, along the perimeter of the pie, positioning each new slice to cover about one-third of the apple slice immediately proceeding it.
Once the first row around the interior is complete, continue on with the next row, overlapping slices as in the first row, while nesting each slice snugly against the row preceding it. Work toward the center of the pie with each subsequent row. The apple slices should be arranged in as dense a pattern as possible.
After the rows of apple slices have filled all but the center inch or so of the pie, prepare the center of the rose bud by tightly rolling one slice into a spiral. Wind another slice around that spiral, and continue with additional apple slices until the “rose bud” is large enough to fill the small gap of fruit in the very center of the pie. Carefully nestle the “rose bud” cut side down into the center of the pie.
Be sure to save every drop of the syrupy juices remaining in the bowl from the apples. I usually end up with about one-quarter cup of syrup. Once the pie has baked, the reserved syrup is brushed over top of the apples to provide extra sweetness, and prevent the pie from drying out. I include helpful slicing and serving tips in Notes area of the printable recipe.
Rose Apple Pie is a delicate, lightly sweet pie that lets the flavor of seasonal apples really shine through. Each slice is delicate enough to satisfy the desire for a little something sweet, without being cloying or heavy, making it the perfect compliment to a hearty meal.
Here’s the rose apple pie recipe. Make it for a stunning dessert at your next holiday gathering!
For more helpful pie tips, check out my 10 Fool Proof Tips for Perfect Pies!