What’s even better than cinnamon buns? Apple roses, of course! Essentially a simple combination of pie crust (which we’re going to make from scratch), vegan margarine, apples, sugar, and spice (and everything nice?)
They look impressive, and I’m not going to lie–they can be a little tricky to roll up to perfection–but they’re worth it and will totally impress the host of the next party you bring them to.
That said, here are a few notes that will help, should you choose this as your quest:
A word about thinly slicing apples
I used a mandoline to get perfect, even apple slices each time. This would be possible to do by hand if you’re some kind of amazing skilled knife person…but I’m not, so I use a mandoline 😀
A word about coconut oil in pie crusts
Coconut oil can be liquid, or it can be hard as a rock. Neither of those is good for making pie crust, though! You want the in-between texture of slightly mushy, so that it can be stirred and mixed, but solid enough that you could pick up a glob of it with your fingers.
In the context of a vegan pie crust, coconut oil can be a bit tricky to work with. If you notice that your coconut oil is melting too quickly, you might want to throw your pie crust in the fridge for a few minutes before continuing to work with it. Why? Coconut oil melts easily, especially when you touch it with warm hands. You might accidentally melt it too much just by squishing it around and therefore need to firm it back up a bit before continuing to work with it.
What if I don’t like coconut oil?
If you like the flavor of coconut oil, go ahead and use extra virgin coconut oil…but, if not? Use refined. If you use refined coconut oil, you won’t taste the coconut flavor.
- 3 c all-purpose flour
- 1 c coconut oil, in a mashable state (not liquified, not a solid rock)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cane sugar
- 1/2 c coconut milk (or another non-dairy milk)
- 3 apples, thinly sliced
- 1/2 c Earth balance, or other vegan margarine
- Brown sugar for sprinkling; you’ll want about 1/2 – 1 c on hand
- Cinnamon for dusting
- First, get all of the apples cut and sliced. You’ll want little half moon shaped slices, and the way you can do that is this:
- Cut one third off the apple, avoiding the core.
- Now cut another third off, from the other side of the core.
- With each one of those apple slabs, slice thinly, with the cuts going what would have been horizontally across the apple.
- I highly recommend using a mandoline to make this process easier & more even; see above 🙂
- Create the crust by combining all of the crust group ingredients. See notes above about coconut oil, and about working with coconut oil crusts.
- Use your hands to mix all of the crust ingredients together until there are no more flour crumbs. If it gets too soft, stick in the fridge for a few minutes before continuing.
- Cover a large flat work space with flour. You could cover your dining room table with wax paper and use that–clean-up is fairly easy that way. We’ll use this flour-covered space for rolling out the crust:
- With a rolling pin (or a wine bottle, your preference!), roll out the crust into a thin sheet, about 1/2 cm thick.
- Cut, from that flattened crust, strips which are about 2-3 cm tall and about 30 cm wide. Leave the strips on the table; we’re going to roll them up one by one. The goal with these is to have something which is just a bit shorter than your apple slices, so take that into consideration when cutting these.
- Brush all of your cut strips with melted Earth Balance.
- Now, rub brown sugar over the strips. It should stick pretty well, since the strips are already coated in Earth Balance.
- Lastly, dust the entire thing lightly with cinnamon.
- Now, line up the thinly sliced up apples on each strip, like this:
- Gently and carefully, begin to roll the strip from left to right (or opposite of that, if you’re left handed). Leave a little bit of space at the end, so that you can seal the rose with the extra dough. The end result should look kind of like a cinnamon bun:
- Brush the top lightly with some more coconut milk, and dust with a bit more brown sugar.
- Bake these at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.