This Rosette Apple Tart recipe makes a stunning fall dessert. A buttery crust is filled with cinnamon-spiced applesauce and then topped with beautiful apple roses.

Scrumptious German apple desserts are always part of an Oktoberfest celebration! Keep reading to find out How to Make a Rose Apple Tart.

Rosette Apple Tart on a white plate.

Why You Must Make

  • The presentation is a show-stopper. 
  • Making apple roses takes a little time, but is quite easy (and forgiving).
  • This Apple Tart Recipe is a perfect and beautiful fall dessert!

I’ve toyed with making a dessert that incorporated an apple rosette recipe, using them as “edible flowers” to cover a tart. Haunted by memories of an apple pie my mom baked up with the skins still on every slice, I hesitated before deciding not to peel my fruit.

The color of the peel is essential to the beauty of this apple tart. And with paper-thin slices and a more mature palate, I was pleased with both the taste and appearance of this marvelous tart.

Overhead view of Rose Apple Tart on a white ceramic plate.

Recipe Tips:

This stunning apple dessert will cause jaws to drop at first sight. Although it looks complicated, it is not only for experienced cooks. Anyone can make a rose apple tart with a few tips to get you through the process.

  • Let’s start with the crust. Mine is homemade, but you can always press a purchased pastry crust into your tart pan.
  • PRO-Tip: Use a tart pan with a removable bottom so the sides can easily be taken off for serving.
  • PRO-Tip: Use your rolling pin and roll across the top of the tart pan after the pie crust is draped and fitted into the pan. This will cleanly remove any excess dough.
  • The tart dough can be made ahead of time, wrapped well, and parked in the refrigerator. You may need to pull it out in advance of rolling to get the chill off and allow it to become more pliable.
  • The applesauce layer can also easily be cooked and cooled ahead of time. My MIL always used granny smith apples, but if you’ve made applesauce before and have a favorite “sauce” apple, feel free to use it in this recipe.
  • I suggest making a double batch if your family loves applesauce. It’s a marvelous autumn side dish, especially served with pork
  • It may take you a few tries to figure out how to make this apple roses recipe, but it’s basically rolling up thinly sliced pieces of apple and placing them peel side up into the applesauce layer of the tart. The apple slices are simmered in a hot sugary syrup just long enough to make them pliable.
  • For more consistent-sized roses, you may need to cook some extra slices, trimming them first to a similar width. I enjoy the look of all sorts of sized roses. The small ones fit nicely into open spots between larger roses.
  • PRO-Tip: Use red-skinned apples if you want a rosy-looking appearance. I used a combination of red and yellow-skinned apples for my rose apple tart.
  • Use jam to glaze the apples. Apricot jam worked well, but any more neutral-colored jam will work well. There’s not enough for the flavor to affect the taste of the tart.
  •  PRO-Tip: Don’t overcook your apples as you don’t want them to be mushy. And use a mandolin or benringer, if you have one, to make consistently thin apple slices. A very sharp knife works well, too. Aim for about 116 of an inch thick.
Close up view of Rosette Apple Tart on a white cake plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between a Tart and a Pie?

Tarts are made in pans with straight sides that can easily be removed for serving. Pies are made in pie plates with angled sides. Tarts typically have one crust and pies can have a single or double crust.

How Do You Make an Apple Tart?

First, decide on the type of crust for your tart. It can be a pastry, graham cracker or even made from puff pastry. Prebake it if the filling does not to be baked. If it does need to be baked, add the apple filling to the crust and bake as directed or until the crust is golden and the apples are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

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Rose Apple Tart

Rose Apple Tart

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 48 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 33 minutes
Yield 8 servings

Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Normandy Apple Tart, topped with apple roses instead of apple slices



  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked to break yolk


  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Rose Topping:

  • 2 apples (I used 1 Golden Delicious and 1 Honeycrisp), quartered, cored and sliced almost paper-thin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons apricot jam whisked with 1-1 1/2 teaspoons water


  1. Add flour, powdered sugar, and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Sprinkle the cold butter over the flour mixture and pulse till the mixture resembles cornmeal with a few larger pieces of butter.
  3. Add egg yolk and pulse using long 10-second pulses until the mixture comes together.
  4. Knead crust a bit, then pat it into a greased 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
  5. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cover the crust with foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil, and press down the bottom of the tart lightly with a spoon if necessary. Return to the oven and bake for 8 more minutes. Cool.
  8. Make applesauce by placing apples, water, and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Cook on medium-low, stirring frequently until apples are soft, about 20-30 minutes.
  9. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Mash or puree to desired consistency. I left my applesauce slightly chunky. Cool, then spread into the tart shell. Set aside.
  10. To make apple roses, make a simple syrup by heating the water with 1 cup of sugar. Stir and cook until sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice.
  11. Using a mandolin or a benriner, slice the apples almost paper thin. Place sliced apples into the simple syrup as you go so they don't oxidize and brown. Make sure the slices are covered with syrup.
  12. Simmer the apples just until pliable.
  13. Drain the apples, then, make the roses.
  14. On a flat surface, line up to 6-8 slices of apple (use the same color for each rose) with all the peel sides facing the same way. Slowly roll up each line of apples, holding the edges as you go, until a spiral is formed.
  15. Place on a plate, flat side down, and continue making more roses until most of the apples are used.
  16. To finish the tart, gently push the roses into the applesauce, arranging so most of the surface is covered.
  17. Melt the jam with the water in the microwave (20-30 seconds), then whisk to combine. With a pastry brush, gently glaze the roses with jam. Refrigerate until serving time.


Using red-skinned apples will make a beautiful presentation. Or use a combination of red and yellow-skinned apples.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 5gSugar: 64gProtein: 4g


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