Rose Apple Pie

Rose Apple Pie

Our month of apple recipes continues today with a twist on America’s favorite dessert: apple pie. This version has all of the delicious makings, but instead of a decorative crust, the apple slices are arranged like a rose. Posie of 600 Acres shows us how it’s done (it’s easier than it looks!)…

Rose Apple Pie
By Posie Harwood of 600 Acres

When the air gets crisp, I want to turn on my oven again and bake. Fall usually means a basic apple pie: a rustic, rumpled-looking crust hiding a wealth of apple slices perfumed with cinnamon. Each slice slumps appealingly, the fruit softened from the heat. And although, in general, I don’t advocate messing about with the classics, this delicate apple pie is absolutely worth trying this autumn. It has all the elements of a traditional apple pie — a buttery, flaky crust and a warm, spiced fruit filling — but it’s much lighter and more elegant. Don’t be intimidated by how fancy it looks, it’s actually easier than baking a regular apple pie. All it takes to get that pretty surface is to arrange apple slices in circles. Serve the pie warm with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and prepare to impress pretty much everyone you know.

Rose Apple Pie

Recipe: Rose Apple Pie
Serves 6-8

You’ll need:

For the crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter, very cold
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

For the filling
6-8 medium apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp strawberry jam

To make the crust, whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is in small lumps. Slowly pour in the ice water, stirring with a fork as you go. You might only need 1/4 cup, so start there. The dough should come together into a shaggy mass, but it should have plenty of dry spots left. Add as much water as you need to get to this point. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times until it comes together in a cohesive ball. Press the ball into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough has chilled, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to an 11″ circle. Transfer the circle of dough into a 9-inch tart pan. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

While the crust chills, prepare the apples. Peel all the apples and cut them into very thin slices. You want each slice to be thin enough to bend without breaking, but not paper thin. If they are too thin, they’ll break when you toss them in the next step. You can use a mandoline to make this step easier.

Place the slices in a large bowl and toss them gently with the lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar. Let sit while the crust finishes chilling.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Starting from the outside, line the apple slices up (cut side down) in the pie crust, moving around the crust in circles and working your way into the center. Each slice should overlap with the last one. You want the circles to be tightly pressed together, as the apples will shrink when they bake.

Drain the liquid that’s left at the bottom of the bowl of apples and cook it down (in a small saucepan or in the microwave) until it thickens. Pour this liquid over the top of the apples.

Bake the tart for 30-40 minutes. Just before the time is up, heat the strawberry jam (on the stove or in the microwave) until it’s liquid-y. Remove the pie from the oven and brush the heated jam over the top of the apples using a pastry brush. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit should be bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Rose Apple Pie

Thank you so much, Posie!

P.S. More delicious recipes, including apple crisp and apple pie with caramel.

(Recipe and photos by Posie Harwood. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)

  1. Victoria says...

    Hi! I am doing this!! Are you using US cups?

  2. Wooow this looks amazing! Such a cool twist on a usual apple pie. Definitely gonna be trying to recreate this!

    x Annabelle

  3. Caitlin says...

    I just made this tonight and it was amazing! The crust got a little too brown. Next time I’ll try brushing on some melted butter before baking.

  4. Alesha says...

    How do you achieve the curls of the slices in the middle? Every time I attempt to bend the slices they break. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Julie says...

      I’ve found that if you add a little lemon juice to the apple slices and put them in the microwave for about 30 seconds on high, they will curl right up without breaking. It also partially cooks them, which is good, because you do want the apples cooked, and they won’t cook thoroughly in 40 minutes in the oven. I love the idea of the strawberry jam at the last bit of baking – I bet it adds a lot!

    • Kate says...

      I used a vegetable peeler for the last few curls, worked perfectly!

  5. This is so beautiful! I want to make it but don’t think I’d want to eat it and ruin it! It’s like a work of art!

  6. Kelly says...

    My mother used to make this! It’s originally a Rose Levy Burnbaum recipe.

  7. SN says...

    This looks like a showstopper; I am going to have to try this out!

  8. This looks Am I the only one who would have benefitted from additional pictures of the pre-cooked apple slices, to understand just how/in what direction they were cut and then assembled to make this gorgeous rose?

    • Monique says...

      Step by step pics would be awesome!

  9. Shea says...

    Hi guys. I wonder if you would consider helping to revolutionize Internet recipe styles for easier use by including the amounts/measures in the directions. This would mean less scrolling between the ingredients lists and the directions. The scrolling might sound like a small inconvenience, but anyone who does a lot of cooking based on online recipes (especially from their phone) will probably feel my pain. Here’s an example of what I mean by an Internet-user-friendly recipe direction:

    “In a small bowl, whisk 2 large eggs. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1/2 cup butter until the mixture is well combined.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea! we’ll chat about it here, thank you!!

    • Sarah says...

      YES!! Wonderful idea. I struggle with the scrolling back and forth while cooking as well.

    • Monique says...


  10. Diana A says...

    What apples would be best to use??

  11. Taylor says...

    I’ve been making this for years and it is just sooo beautiful and delicious! Everyone is so impressed when I serve it haha!

    I usually drizzled homemade salted caramel on top, which is THE BEST! You can also keep some of the peel on and it adds some gorgeous colour!

    • Taylor says...

      Ouh! Or you can make mini versions in a muffin tin!

    • Julie says...

      Oh, that sounds wonderful!

  12. Ann says...

    This looks wonderful! Any chance it could work with gluten-free baking flour?

    • Posie says...

      Probably fine, but I’d suggest just finding a great GF pie crust recipe and using that for the crust, as converting a wheat recipe can be tricky.

    • Julie says...

      Art of the Pie has a great gluten-free pastry recipe, using a gluten-free flour you mix up yourself… I recommend her site for everyday reading. Look under recipes for the pastry recipe.

  13. This looks delicious and doesn’t sound that hard to assemble- thanks for sharing!

  14. I love Posie’s recipes. I made her lemon tart all summer long, in lime too! I cannot wait to try this. The rose design looks a bit intimidating but I have a thirds rule with new recipes. Meaning I usually make that new recipe 3 times back to back, over the course of a few weeks and by the 3rd time I know the recipe and how the ingredients work together. I also first thought this was a rose flavored apple tart, with rose water and apple. That would be curious hm :) x Tali

  15. What a dream! This reminds me of being in Paris with all of the lovely tarts lined up in the boulangeries! Come fall, I am obsessed with apples! I went apple picking 2 weekends ago with my girls and am going again tomorrow! I love this time of year.


  16. I can almost smell it, it looks so good. It takes me straight back to an afternoon of baking apples with my Mum when I was about 6 or 7, funny how memories jump out like that! It looks delicious and may be the perfect thing to christen my new NYC oven this fall!

  17. This is so stunning! Just went apple picking with the kids. Cannot wait to make this!!

  18. oh my goodness! this is so beautiful. this might be a thanksgiving contender!

  19. Rebecca says...

    Yes Stella, thank you! I think I may have to try this one for Thanksgiving!

  20. Darley Tom says...

    This is wonderful! I wonder, can you bake this ahead and serve later? Might be great for Thanksgiving if I could bake it the day or two before and store.

  21. Rebecca says...

    This is gorgeous but I am confused by “cut side down” – which side is the cut side on a sliced apple?

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Rebecca!

      The straight edge of the slice will be on the crust, while the rounded curve of the slice faces up. Does that help?

      Thank you so much,

    • Julie says...

      I think you need to think of cutting the apple first into quarters. Then slice each quarter as thin as you can… so you have a crescent shape in each slice. You want the edge with the peel to stand up and give the color to the rose.