Cooking with the Saints: Heavenly Garden Apple Rose Pastries
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Every month Grazia Barletta prepares a recipe from Catholic tradition in her Cape Town kitchen, and shares it with our readers in text and photos taken exclusively for The Southern Cross by the chef herself.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux was a French Carmelite nun who was only 15 when she entered the convent. She loved flowers and saw herself as the “Little Flower of Jesus” who gave glory to God by just being her little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, she is often known as “The Little Flower”. After a long illness with tuberculosis, she died in 1897 at the young age of 24. She was canonised by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925.
Roses have been described and experienced as St Thérèse’s signature. The recipe I am sharing with you is traditionally prepared for her feast day in October, but it can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
As you enjoy eating an apple pastry you can say this prayer for your intention: “St Thérèse, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love: ask God to grant me the favour I thee implore and tell him I will love him each day more and more.”
Preparation: 50 min • Baking: 25 min
1 sheet of puff pastry • 3 red apples
8 tbsp sugar • 2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg • 1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups water • 2 tbsp lemon juice
Icing sugar (optional) • Wax paper
Preheat the oven to 200ºC
- Wash and core the apples. Slice very thinly.
- Place the sliced apples in a saucepan along with the 4 cups of water, 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 minutes or until the apple slices soften and can easily bend.
- Strain the apples and let them cool in a colander. Line a plate with paper towels and arrange the slices so they can dry and cool completely.
- While the apples are cooling, mix the 5 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest.
- Unfold the sheet of puff pastry and place it onto a surface sprinkled with flour. Using a pastry or pizza cutter (a knife will do) cut long strips of about 1,3cm on the short side of the pastry.
- Spread the cinnamon mixture over the dough and slightly press it down.
- By this time the apples should be cool and almost dry. Take a few slices and place them on the first strip of pastry dough, overlapping them so they do not fall out to create a rose petal-like design (see illustration right). Now start rolling, making sure it is fairly tightly rolled. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat until you have created all the apple roses.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.
- Enjoy with the prayer cited earlier!
Follow Grazia Barletta’s blog at www.momentswithgrazia.com
This recipe was published in the May 2021 issue of the Southern Cross magazine
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