Let’s be real honest for a second, people. When you think about candy that can chip or crack your teeth, caramel apples definitely come to mind. It’s seriously too hard to bite—especially for a kid. Did we mention how damn messy the Halloween fan-favorite is? Forget all that dental drama and hop on the apple rose tart bandwagon instead. This easy Pinterest-inspired dessert recipe tastes of autumn and, despite your skepticism, it will NOT fail. Phyllo dough cups are filled with apples drowned in caramel. If you’re not into phyllo dough, a buttery and flaky pie crust will work too. We tried this apple recipe with a few varieties and found that Granny Smith were our favorite.
Also note that homemade caramel isn’t difficult to whip up, but it does needs constant attention. In less than a second, the sugar can go from a perfect amber color to burnt, so keep stirring and don’t dare look away. You might not get it the first time, but practice makes perfect. If things don’t go smoothly, here’s a clever trick for removing burnt sugar from a saucepan: Instead of standing over the sink and scraping at dried sugar, fill your pan with water, and boil it. The sugar will release from the edges of the pan as the water heats and you’ll spend less time washing dishes.
Caramel Apple Rose Tarts
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 to 3 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 package store-bought phyllo dough
4 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
How to Make It
Turn the oven on. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Make the caramel sauce. Place the sugar in a heavy-bottom sauce pan and melt it over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until golden brown in color. Turn off heat, whisk in butter until fully incorporated. Next, add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Reserve caramel sauce.
Slice the apples. Quarter the apples and then thinly slice each quarter. Place sliced apples in a bowl of water with lemon juice. Reserve.
Prepare your dough. Unroll the phyllo dough sheets. Slice in half lengthwise and then in thirds, so that you have six squares of phyllo dough. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place 6 to 8 sheets in each, brushing melted butter between the layers.
Assemble the tarts. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the reserved caramel sauce into each muffin tin, followed by the apple slices. To make a rose, layer the apple slices in a circle starting from the outside and working your way inward. The thinner the slices, the easier it will be to bend.
Bake the tarts. Sprinkle granulated sugar and cinnamon over each rose and bake for 10 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before serving.