Savory Apple Rose Tartlets

Posted October 12, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 6 Comments


Roses are one of the many iconic items from The Phantom of the Opera. They’re most commonly found in the movie–as mysterious gifts from the Phantom that appear for Christine seemingly by magic–but they make appearances in the book and stage play as well. They’re seen as the Phantom’s calling card, so I knew they had to have a place in our menu.

In the past, various “apple rosette” pies and tarts have caught my eye on Pinterest. I noticed that they were all dessert bakes, so I decided to make a savory version. I whipped up the herbed pie crust that will appear in my cookbook next year and filled it Gouda cheese and carmelized onions, topping it with rosettes made from thinly sliced Gala apples.

I love the way the cheese stretches just a bit as you bite into it and how the sweet apples and flaky, savory crust play off each other. Just a little bit of bite from the caramelized onions finishes it off. Bon appetit!


Savory Apple Rose Tartlets: An AWR Original Recipe

“Why, he leaves them on the little shelf in the box, of course. I find them with the program, which I always give him. Some evenings, I find flowers in the box, a rose that must have dropped from his lady’s bodice … for he brings a lady with him sometimes; one day, they left a fan behind them.”

— The Phantom of the Opera



  • herbed pie dough (In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2  cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp thyme, and 1 tbsp rosemary. With a fork or pastry blender, cut 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter into the flour mix until you have a crumb-like texture with bits of pea-sized butter throughout. With a fork, stir in 1/2 cup cold water a couple tablespoons at a time until the mix holds together when pressed with your fingers but isn’t soggy. Form the dough into 2 balls. Flatten them slightly into thick disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm but not hard.)
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 oz Gouda cheese
  • 2-3 Gala or Fuji apples (You want the reddest ones you can find. We’ll be slicing these very thin, so we don’t want orange or yellow streaks in the skin breaking up the clean red lines along the edges of the petals.)


Makes 12 tartlets



    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Roll the pie dough to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 4.5-inch circles.
    2. Thoroughly coat a muffin pan with cooking spray and gently place the circles inside the muffin wells. Prick the bottoms twice with a fork. Blind bake the pie dough for 10 minutes. Allow to rest until completely cool (do not remove them from the muffin pan).

      Make sure to lower the circles all the way into the corners along the bottom of the tin. Grasp the edges of the circle, and as you lower it, use the fingers of your other hand to guide the dough without stretching it. I didn’t do this with my first batch, and you can see that the dough shrank away from the edges of the tin.
    3. While you wait for the shells to cool, cut your onion into thin disks. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-low heat, then add the onions, stirring them around until completely coated with the oil. Cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
    4. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir in the sugar and salt. Continue to cook and stir until the onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
    5. Cut your Gouda into 9 disks approximately 1/4 inch thick and 2 inches wide. Use them to line the bottom of your tart shells. This is easiest to do if the cheese is cold right before you slice it, but if you’re having trouble, you can use chunks of cheese to line the bottom of the shells (it just won’t be quite as exact).
    6. Evenly divide your caramelized onion amongst your tarts, placing it on top of the Gouda.
    7. Cut your apples into quarters and cut out the seeded portions. Slice the quarters thin using the second setting on a mandolin (you want them veeeery thin, otherwise they’ll snap when you bend them). As you cut, add the finished slices in a bowl and toss them with a few drops of lemon juice every so often to prevent browning.
    8. Squirt some lemon juice on a cutting board and line up 10 apple slices overlapping each other in a straight line. Slowly roll the slices into a tight spiral, making sure to keep a good grip on the outside apples.

    9. Place the rolled rose in the center of one of the tart shells, pressing down to make sure it holds its shape. Repeat with all the remaining apple slices.
    10. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the apple slices are cooked through and the cheese has had time to melt. Keep a close watch on them for the last few minutes to make sure the edges of the petals don’t start to burn. I left mine in just a minute or two too long, and you can see that a few of mine started to discolor.
    11. Allow the tartlets to rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then ease them out with a butter knife onto a serving plate.
    12. Serve your rose tartlets warm as a gift to the love of your life…or eat them all yourself (I won’t tell! 😉 ).


Check out our other apple recipes! 🙂



Share on Facebook7Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest12Share on Yummly0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Email this to someonePrint this page

6 responses to “Savory Apple Rose Tartlets

    • I’d say it took me 2-3 rosettes to really get the hang of how to hold them (I kept rolling the middle too tight at first, so it snapped). But once you get a feel for it, they come together pretty quickly. A sweet version would be delicious!

  1. ladyelasa

    These are so pretty! I want to try these, but I need a mandolin. XD Also I just tried your bacon-wrapped dates last night. So yummy!

    • I’m so glad you liked them! I’ve started keeping an eye out for when dates go on sale so I can make them again.

      If you don’t want to spend a ton on a mandolin, Oxo has a $15 Good Grips handheld version. That’s the kind I have, and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not quite an sturdy as some of the more expensive ones, but it’s good for the price.

Leave a Reply