Apple Rosette Tartlet with Gula Melaka
By Adeline Song Jun Ling
A rose by any other name wouldn’t look as elegant nor taste as delicious as these elegant apple tartlets. Crisp fresh apple gets a dusting of sugar spiced up with warm, woody notes of cinnamon. Finally, gula melaka (palm sugar) adds the oomph!
Total time: 2 hours
Cost: < S$10.00
Yields: 12 tarts
3-4 red apples (Royal Gala or any red baking apple)
3 puff pastry sheets, 25cm x 25cm
B: To Cook Apple
1 lemon, cut into halves
1 litre water
C: Cinnamon Sugar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
D: To Dust Baked Tarts
1 tablespoon icing sugar
E: To Serve
Ice-cream of your choice
100g gula melaka, melted
1. Preheat oven to 200°C for 10 minutes. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil using a pastry brush. Set aside.
2. Leaving skin on, core apples. Cut each in half, then slice thinly.
3. Bring water to boil over high heat. Squeeze some lemon juice into water. Add in apple slices. Turn heat off immediately. Allow apple to steep for 1½ minutes. Check that it’s soft and pliable but not soggy.
Drain apples and discard water. Set apple aside.
4. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 long equal strips. With a rolling pin, roll each sheet lengthwise, extending it by 5cm. This makes it much easier to roll with apple slices. Also, it stops pastry from puffing up too much during baking.
5. Place apple lengthwise on long edge of dough, about 3 cm above the edge. Arrange fruit such that they slightly overlap. See photo below.
6. Combine ground cinnamon and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl. Using a teaspoon, scoop up some cinnamon mixture. Tap it gently over lower strip of apple on pastry.
7. Fold dough over sliced apple; roll from right to left but leave rounded edges of fruit exposed. As you keep rolling, it will form into a rosette with apple slices resembling flower petals.
8. Transfer rose tartlets into muffin tray. Place tray on middle rack in the oven.
The top half of tartlets will be exposed during baking. Bake for 40 minutes or until apple is light brown. NOTE: Baking times vary according to oven brand.
9. Transfer baked tartlets onto a cooling rack. Set them aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down slightly.
10. Using a sieve, dust icing sugar over tartlets.
11. Serve tartlets warm or at room temperature with ice-cream of your choice. If desired, pipe gula melaka syrup onto a plate. Alternatively, drizzle syrup over ice-cream.
For those watching their sugar intake, simply serve tartlets as is, sans ice-cream and syrup.
TIP: Naturally aromatic and juicy with firm white flesh, Royal Gala apples have a mellow sweetness with a good balance of acidity. It retains a crisp bite even after cooking or baking.
TECHNIQUE: Cooking apple briefly renders it pliable, making it easy to handle when rolling.
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