Apple roses have been done to death on Pinterest, but they are still delicious, fun to make and look very pretty. These apple roses are in the middle of mini baked cheesecakes with tart blackberries.
When I was a child, my uncle used to make elderberry wine. Every year, one one day in late August, would be the day we would bring our baskets and containers and all go with him. There was an old, disused railway bank near his house that was covered with brambles and elderberry bushes with millions of lovely purple berries. He would get his elderberries and make the potent homemade wine and we would pick blackberries to make pies, crumbles, cakes and jam.
I really miss our family trips to forage for those lovely berries, but I still love blackberries to this day.
These mini cheesecakes are ideal for an addition to afternoon tea, a bite-sized dessert or an after-school treat.
2 cups/approx 200g of digestive biscuit crumbs
2 tbs sugar
2oz/57g butter – melted
16oz/454g full fat and room temperature cream cheese
¼ cup/60g room temperature sour cream
1 cup/237g sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
Blackberry puree – made with 1 heaped cup of fresh blackberries, 2 tbs sugar, heated until the juices run and the sugar dissolves. Push through a fine sieve to remove the seeds and leave to cool completely. You need ¼ cup of the puree. OR you can of course cheat and use ¼ cup of seedless blackberry jam.
2 crisp apples, preferably with a rosy red skin. I used Pink Lady apples
1tbs lemon juice
¼ cup/60g caster sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
Mix the crumbs, sugar and butter together and divide the mixture equally into the cupcake cases, pressing down with a spoon for a firm base.
To make the filling, place the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until very creamy, with no lumps. Add the eggs and beat again until fully combined. Stir in the blackberry puree, you can fully mix in, or leave as a marbled finish.
Carefully pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared cupcake cases, coming up to just over half way.
For the roses, cut the apples in half, remove the core and thinly slice into half circles and place in a bowl with the water and lemon juice. Microwave for around 1 minute until the slices soften and they are flexible.
Depending on how thick you have cut your slices, you need around 10-12 for each rose. Lay them out on a board, overlapping each slice with the next. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar and roll up from one end the other as tightly as possible. Place into the waiting case, the rose will ‘bloom’ and fill the mini cheesecake. Repeat until you have a rose in each one and top with a little sprinkle of the cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 180ºC/350ºF for around 25 minutes until the centres are just set and allow to fully cool. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.