Tuesday 12 May 2015

Apple rose tarts, a woven paper box and random moments

"Was it a something you found online?" asked E as we drove to my parents house, ridiculously late.  "It was on Pinterest,"  I admitted.  I had got caught up in weaving a paper box or basket to carry the bits and pieces of food presents I had bought my mum.  The irony was not lost on me that I was late for the Mothers Day lunch because I was spending too much time on her present.  And we forgot to take the card I had made.  It was all a bit of a shambles.

I am very susceptible to a Pinterest idea.  It makes me wonder about life before Pinterest, before online life.  We had a book or two of craft ideas at home, a library of books for borrowing, tv shows, friends' ideas and our own imagination.  Yes, there was plenty of inspiration then.  Yet Pinterest makes it seem so much easier.  In the case of the woven paper box, it was far more challenging than it looked.

Another Pinterest idea that took my fancy long ago was the idea of making apple rose tarts.  Sadly, many Pinterest ideas fall by the wayside.  So I was pleased to see it again on Not Quite Nigella and have an added motive to make them because she chose them for her monthly Cook With Me where she asks readers to make a recipe she has chosen.

I promised Sylvia that we would make them on Saturday afternoon.  That was the time had also earmarked to make a cake and the woven paper box.  Only life wasn't so straightforward.  I was tired and under the weather after a busy week.  Meetings, a bullying workshop, making greeting cards, gift shopping, a poorly child, coffee with friends, the first wobbly tooth falling out.  Sylvia was asking challenging questions like how are babies made, did Jesus really die on the cross and where does the tooth fairy get her money. So instead of creating food and gifts on Saturday afternoon, I did the only thing I could do.  Slept.

When I woke, feeling a little groggy, I managed to make these apple rose tarts.  Unlike the box that was a challenge to my sanity, these tarts were surprisingly easy, considering how impressive they look.  We had one each after dinner (leftover stew, thank goodness)!  They were delicious.  I suspect they particularly appealed to E because there was not a lot of fruit in all the pastry yumminess. 

The next day when I packaged up the hamper of goodie for my mum, I included the last of the apple rose tarts.  My mum loves roses so it seemed appropriate.  The hamper also comprised damson plum jam, Gewurzhaus spice mixes, salted almond chocolate, a salted caramel, fancy savoury nuts, and some limes off our tree.  The woven paper box I had made was too flimsy to hold it properly so I wrapped it in cellophane.

We finally arrived at my parents' house in Geelong for a late lunch.  Mum had made a magnificent moussaka and a cauliflower salad.  She has a new oven and had made her best pavlova for a long time in it.  I took down some hedgehog and mum also made jelly slice.

I also was showered with gifts for Mothers Day.  Sylvia had been making gifts at school and also had a chance to buy me some gifts at the Mothers Day stall at the school.  Parents make craft for the stall and sell it to the kids at very reasonable prices.  E also bought me a book (All the Bright Places) that I am looking forward to reading.  And on Saturday morning Sylvia and E made me pancakes with minimal help from me.

Finally I wanted to share a few recent random moments the made me smile:
  • My mobile phone is now paid off and I am out of the contract.  Yay!  I have discovered that I am using far less downloads than my plan covered.  Which means I have been able to reduce the amount I pay monthly by less than a half!
  • A rolled up newspaper appeared on our doorstep last week.  It was from January 2015.  Goodness knows where it was found or who found it.  I have put the choice bits on the pile for me to read.  Yesterday I stopped for lunch and pulled out an old newspaper magazine to read and found it was from 2013!
  • We went to see E play with his ukelele group at a pub and took along a friend of Sylvia's.  When there was a break I was talking with the little girls about the watering can on the stage.  Sylvia's friend amused me when she said it was there to water the microphones to make them grow.
I am sending these cute tarts:

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Street Art in Melbourne #1 Croft Alley
Two year ago: About my oven (or why the nose is mightier than the timer
Three years ago: FFF Zucchini slice - a childhood favourite
Four years ago: CC Crunchy Salad, Tofu Nuggets and Sylvia
Five years ago: Mothering Oat and Cranberry Biscuits
Six years ago: Mothering, Stew and Bread
Seven years ago: Meandering Musings on Split Pea Soup
Eight years ago: Cardamom and Chocolate Comforts

Apple Rose Tarts
From Not Quite Nigella and Cooking with Manuela
Makes 6

1-2 red apples*
1-3 tbsp lemon juice*
1 sheet puff pastry*
2-3 tbsp quince jelly (or other jam)*
Icing sugar, to serve

Grease 6 regular muffin holes in a tin.  Preheat oven to 190 C.

Halve and core apples.  I did this with a paring knife but had to be careful not to cut too deeply.  NQN used a melon baller.  Slice by hand as thinly as possible (or use a mandolin) and place in a bowl of water with lemon juice in it.  

Microwave the apples (or cook on the stovetop) until just cooked enough to bend but not soft.  About 3 to 5 minutes in the microwave should be enough.

Roll out the thawed sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to measure about 30cm long.  It doesn't need to be any wider.  Cut the pastry into 6 short strips.  Brush with quince jelly or jam.  Arrange apples along the pastry strip with round edge of apple above the edge of the pastry.  Fold the pastry over and make sure apple slices are tucked into side pastry.  Roll up the pastry to form a rose formation of apples and place pastry side down in a muffin hole.  Repeat with 5 other strips.

Bake tarts for 30 to 40 minutes until pastry is cooked (check pastry in the middle is cooked as well as outside).  Serve dusted with icing sugar.  They were great warm but also fine the next day.

NOTES:  I had a lot of apple slices over but am not sure I would have quite had enough if I had only used 1 apple.  I used a Pink Lady and a Red Gala and much preferred the slices of Pink Lady.  I didn't measure the lemon juice - just gave a good squeeze of half a lemon, and I didn't measure the jam either.  To make these vegan, you need to buy vegan puff pastry.

On the Stereo:
Inside Llewelyn Davis soundtrack: Various Artists


  1. Thanks for participating this month Johanna! Your tarts look lovely and I'm glad that they didn't add any stress to what sounds like a very busy day! :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - really loved this challenge and was so pleased to make them

  2. Your tarts are gorgeous! Love the box too.

  3. These tarts are beautiful!!! Almost too pretty to eat.

  4. What beautiful gifts for your mother and from Sylvia. Too cute! I have also seen some variations on the apple roses lately, they are certainly stunning.

  5. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift you made your mom. I love the rose tarts. They are beautiful!
    Have a happy day.
    :-) Mandy xo

  6. Those are beautiful! I'd feel bad eating them.

    1. Thanks Kalinda - I actually hardly thought of the taste and was surprised how good they tasted - it actually feels really good to eat them :-)

  7. I'm so glad that you didn't let those rose tarts ideas fall by the wayside either, they're just the prettiest thing I've seen for a while. And quince jam, it sounds divine. Your mum must have been so pleased!

    1. Thanks joey - yes the quince jelly was made by my mum so it was like returning the favour! I think it goes really well with apple so no doubt it contributed to the taste.

  8. I'm glad you had a lovely Mother's Day. How beautiful are the apple rose tarts! And that's a beautiful hamper you put together for your mother xx

  9. Oh your mum would have loved her hamper!! Those apple rose tarts are stunning!!!

  10. Your tarts look fab Johanna and I bet your Mum was so pleased with that bounty!! Loved the woven box by the way x

  11. What a beautiful gift, and the apple rose tarts are the crowning achievement!

  12. What a super post, such a pleasure to read! Watering microphones, random newspapers, gorgeous tarts and Mother's Day! Love it! I admit the apple tarts on the internet have intrigued me of late too - you've inspired me to give them a go! Thank you for sharing with Simple and in Season!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth - hope you do try them - am sure you would find them lots of fun

  13. Your Mum is so lucky, what a lovely gift, homemade are definitely the best even if it creates all that stress. I love your rose tarts, they are so cute.

    1. Thanks Sarah - I really love home made gifts too - the ones that sylvia made for me were so priceless, as was her pride in them.

  14. Those tarts look so cute and what a great mothers' day present!

  15. Those tarts are so impressive and I love how they feature as much apple as pastry (or nearly). The basket is also impressive and does look time consuming! You made a beautiful hamper for your mother and I smiled at the gifts from Sylvia too - it sounds like a lovely day even if there was a bit of fluster with time.

  16. How beautiful are those apple rose tarts! Gotta love Pinterest for all the ideas :)

  17. Those tarts look amazing! How clever are they??!! Yippee for Pinterest eh?
    And the hamper is such a lovely gift! I love giving foodie presents like that.... they always shout 'love and thoughtfulness'! I'm sure your Mum really appreciated the effort.
    Sorry to hear you are under the weather though. Sounds as though you have had a trying week!

  18. These look absolutely amazing. I spend way too many hours on pinterest and have also bookmarked these to try from NQN. I'm sure your mum loved her homemade gift box - you are very talented! Thanks for entering Alphabakes

  19. What a lovely gift and beautiful tarts. I have seen them before in blogs and you have now reminded me that I must make them soon.

  20. These are so pretty. I've seen apple rose tarts on Pinterest several times and always think I'll give them a go one day. It hasn't happened yet but hopefully I'll try them soon! Thanks for sharing with The Pastry Challenge :)


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