These tartlets are made with a flaky shortcrust pastry and a creamy apple and rose filling. The delicate floral taste of the rose water goes beautifully with the tartness of the apples. These mouth-watering tartlets are a delightful treat for any occasion!
I'm one of those people who loves everything about Valentine's Day (I'll take any excuse to bask in a bit of romance). Well, I'm not particularly fond of the commercial side of it, but I do love the notion that love is something to be celebrated. This Valentine’s Day it doesn’t matter if you’re having a quiet dinner at home or pulling out all the stops with a great big party, these apple and rose tartlets are sure to impress!
How do these Tartlets Taste?
A flaky shortcrust pastry case is filled with a tart and aromatic apple and rose water filling. The delicately sweet and buttery pastry is complimented by the tart and creamy apple filling and the unique and refreshing flavour of the rose water. Rose water can sometimes have quite an overpowering taste, but in this recipe a small amount is used to give a subtle flavour in the background without overpowering the flavour of the apples.
What Type of Apples Should I Use?
I’ve used Granny Smith apples, but other baking apples such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold or Braeburn will do.
How to Store Apple and Rose Tartlets
These tartlets are best eaten on the day they're baked, as the crusts will lose their crispness the longer they're left to wait. If you’re not eating them right away, you can store them for 2-3 days in an airtight container. I wouldn’t suggest storing them in the fridge as this can cause the crusts to become too hard.
Can these Tartlets be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze these tartlets, but as I’ve mentioned before, they're best when eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze them, place them in a container or wrap them in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost, remove them from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until they're thawed.
Can I Use Store-Bought Shortcrust Pastry for these Tartlets?
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own. If you want to save even more time, you could use a ready baked pastry crusts, but I promise you if won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
What Tins to Use?
I'd recommend using 6 mini (4 inch) tart or quiche tins with a removable bottom. The removable bottom makes it much easier to remove the crust from the tin once it's been baked.
Apple and Rose Tartlet Ingredients:
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust pastry:
Plain flour - Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry.
Caster Sugar - The caster sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness. You could use granulated or icing sugar instead of caster sugar.
Vegan block butter - I used the Flora vegan butter block, but any plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil - I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
For the filling:
Apples - I’ve used Granny Smith apples, but other baking apples such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold or Braeburn will do.
Caster Sugar - I've used caster sugar as it dissolves faster than granulated sugar. I wouldn't recommend using fruit syrups as they'll darken the colour of the filling.
Lemon juice - The lemon juice helps to balance out the sweetness and also brings out the tartness of the apples.
Cornstarch - Cornstarch is used to set the filling.
Butter - I used the Flora vegan butter block, but any plant-based butter will do.
Rose Water - If you’re a lover or rose water you might feel tempted to add a few extra drops, but don’t! Rose water, especially if it’s a good quality brand, can get overpowering really fast, so unless you want to feel like you’re chewing on a rosebud, then I would strongly recommend you use the amount that’s listed in the ingredients. If you're not a fan of rose water, you can omit this ingredient.
Apple Juice - If you'd like to naturally colour the filling, you can substitute the apple juice with pomegranate juice.
Red food colouring - Any red vegan food colouring will do. This ingredient is optional, but without it the tartlet filling will not be red. If you want, you can naturally colour the filling by substituting the apple juice with pomegranate juice.
How to Make Apple and Rose Tartlets
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Divide the dough into 6 evenly sized pieces. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough to create a small pastry disc big enough to fit the tartlet tin. Lift the dough away and place into the tartlet tin and repeat this process with the remaining bits of dough. Press the edges down, trim away the excess dough and prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.
Line the individual pastry cases with a piece of baking paper. To make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure that the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry cases. Fill the lined pastry cases with baking beans, and then place them in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly golden.
Remove the pastry from the oven and let them cool down for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling, add the prepared apples, 3 tbsp water, lemon juice, butter and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and simmer on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the apples become tender. Combine the cornstarch, rose water and the apple juice in a small bowl until a paste has formed. Add the cornstarch paste to the saucepan and cook on a medium heat until the filling starts to thicken. Make sure to stir continually at this point to prevent any lumps from forming. Stir in the red food colouring and use a hand blender or a food processor to blend the mixture until it is completely smooth.
Pour the filling into the cooked pastry cases and leave them to cool down at room temperature for 15 minutes, then place the tartlets into the fridge for around 1 hour until the filling has set. Once the filling has set, remove the tartlets from the fridge and serve at room temperature.
Notes and Tips
It's better to use tart tins with removable bottoms so that the tartlets are easier to take out once they've been baked.
I highly recommend using the gram measurements rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter is chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.