A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a foraging
course at Vale House Kitchen with Chris from the fabulous Heavenly Hedgerows, a
local company that makes delicious treats from foraged and seasonal fruits and
flowers. At the end, Chris sent us all home with a jar of her Lavender Jelly,
pale golden and beautifully fragrant, and I immediately started trying to think
of something scrumptious to make with it. I hit on the idea of using it in this
simple but elegant dessert, as lavender makes the perfect partner for apple. Of
course, if you can’t get your hands on any, apricot jam would do perfectly well
500g ready-made puff pastry
4 red apples (I used Royal Gala)
2 tbsp Heavenly Hedgerows Lavender Jelly
Preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan). Start by preparing
the apples. Before you cut them, fill a bowl with cold water and a good splash
of lemon juice. Then remove the cores, and cut into semi-circular slices as
thinly as you can, placing each one into the bowl straightaway (this will stop
them going brown).
Once you’ve cut up all the apples, roll out the pastry on
a floured surface, until it’s about 5mm thick. Try to keep the rough
rectangular shape intact, and then cut into long strips 5 cm wide – you should
end up with between 6 and 8.
Next, pop the bowl of apples in the microwave and heat
for about 3 minutes to soften up the slices. While that’s going on, warm the
jelly or jam in a small saucepan over a low heat, to make it nicely runny.
Now is the time to assemble the roses. Spread a pastry
strip with the warm jelly, then lay the apple slices on top – I’d suggest
dabbing each one briefly on a piece of kitchen paper to get rid of the excess
moisture. Fold the bottom of the pastry up over the apple (see the picture) and
then carefully roll up the rose and pop into a silicon muffin tray. Repeat with
the rest of the ingredients.
Bake for 40 minutes, then allow to cool briefly in the
tray before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Serve dusted with icing sugar
and with a little whipped cream on the side.