This summer I have been lucky enough to have been invited to two very lovely tea parties. I’m talking about the real deal here with smoked salmon sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, lots of lovely cakes and scones, a choice of beautiful teas and a couple of cheeky glasses of champagne. Afternoon tea is a lovely tradition, not one I have the opportunity to indulge in too often, but a lovely way to get together with friends and loved ones for a proper catch up and to enjoy some delicious food.
The first tea party was hosted by a very dear friend Barbara as an opportunity to get together with some of her girlfriends. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and she really pushed the boat out for us. I was particularly impressed by some little apple pies that she made which looked like beautiful, icing sugar dusted roses. She confessed they were pretty straightforward to make, so when my mum hosted a tea party too, I decided to make some for us all to share.
This post is photo heavy, and not such great photos at that, but if you decide you’d like to make these, it’s a useful “how to”.
Ingredients (to make 12 mini or 6 large pies)
- 1 pack of all butter puff pastry (ready rolled is easier)
- 2 large red apples
- 2 teaspoons of apricot jam
- a little lemon juice
- a teaspoonful of honey or a heaped teaspoon of sugar
- icing sugar
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C and you will need some cupcake cases to support the pies while they are baking
Start by cutting the apples in half and removing the cores. Slice fairly thinly and put all the slices into a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water, the sugar or honey and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Mixx, cover the bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. You can also do this in a saucepan if you don’t want to use the microwave, simply boil the apples gently in the water, lemon and honey for about 3 minutes.
Whichever method you use, drain the apples and leave them to cool down slightly.
Next, roll out your pastry (if it is not prerolled) into a large rectangle and cut into 6 strips (lengthways). Dust your work surface with a little icing sugar to prevent the pastry from sticking.
Melt the jam with a teaspoon of water (microwave or saucepan).
Working with one strip of pastry at a time, brush the pastry with the melted apricot jam and lay overlapping slices of apple along the edge. Allow a little of the top of the apple slice to come over the top of the pastry strip.
Fold the bottom half of the pastry strip upwards and press down gently.
For large pies, roll up the whole slice (like a snail shell!), for smaller pies, cut the appe and pastry slices in two and roll up into two smaller rolls.
Put them into a cupcake case to support them and bake for about 45 minutes until the pastry is golden.
Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar before admiring your bouquet of apples roses!