When I was younger and just trying to get on my feet, I worked as a waitress in a couple of restaurants. One of my favorite parts of that type of gig (besides the free food when you made friends with the cooks, heh) was watching the prep cooks handle their business. They sliced, diced, and prepped mirepoix like it was as easy as breathing. I always wanted to be able to do that and make it look as easy as they did.
As I’ve gotten older, I have really come to appreciate the importance of good knife skills. I know I mentioned this in my Vegetable Tian post last week. But it is really true. If you know your way around a knife, your prep work gets a lot quicker. Better knifework also means better cooking! The more even your cuts, the more even your food cooks. Ok, rant over!
The theme for week 15 of the cooking challenge was knifework. I chose to make rose apples. They were actually pretty simple to put together, and they tasted fantastic. Apple-cinnamony goodness. Perfect for fall, speaking of which, it is now officially fall! Yay! Now if the weather would act like it, I could pull out my sweaters and scarves. Oh how I love getting to wear my scarves. Especially the ones friends and family have made for me. Whoops. Didn’t I say I was going to stop with my rant? My bad! Here’s the recipe for Apple Roses.
Makes 9 roses
2 medium apples, I used Gala
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 roll of Pillsbury Crescent dough
4 tbsp sugar
2 tspn ground cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prep a muffin pan with Pam or muffin liners. Wash the apples, and then thinly slice them. I typically cut the apple into quarters, remove the core, and then slice them.
In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water, the first 4 tablespoons of sugar and the lemon juice to a boil. Add the apples and cook them for about 3-4 minutes, until they are getting soft. This makes it easier to roll them up later. When the apples are soft, drain them and place on paper towels to dry and cool off.
Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface. You will need it so the crescent dough doesn’t stick. Unroll the dough, taking care so that it does not rip apart. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together, and then sprinkle it all over the dough. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 strips. They will be approximately 1 inch in width.
Arrange the apple slices on the strips of dough, overlapping them slightly. Carefully roll the strips up, and place in the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let them cool slightly and then enjoy!