Last year I made mini versions of this pie, but after many requests, I decided to create a full-sized version. It's a bit more labor intensive, but the end result is well worth the effort.
Prepared pie dough
12 medium apples
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Vanilla beans (optional)
Flour for dusting
Sugar for dusting
How to Make the Rose Apple Pie:
1. Prepare the pie dough as instructed. Once it's ready, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Then, transfer it to a 9-inch pie dish. Crimp the edges and prick the bottoms and sides with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilling the dough is key to preventing crust shrinkage during the blind baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Because the apple slices will be paper thin, they won't take long to bake, so you will need to blind bake the pie crust: Line the pie shell with parchment paper, then add ceramic or metal pie weights (dried beans also work). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, then set on a wire rack to cool.
3. Prepare about 3 cups of simple syrup. I added vanilla and cinnamon sticks to mine, but you can flavor however you'd like. Once prepared, pour the hot syrup into a 9-by-13-inch dish and set aside.
It's time to get out the mandolin again! Using a knife, cut off each end of an apple lengthwise (to remove the core and maintain a flat surface). Cut apple into paper-thin slices. Transfer to the syrup and let soak for at least 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining apples.
4. In the full-sized version of this pie, the apple roses will use each other to stay in the spiral shape. You will need to prepare all of them before arranging them in the pie pan. Muffin tins work perfectly as a 'holding area' for your finished roses. Place a muffin tin near your work station before you get started.
To start the apple roses, arrange 7 to 8 apple slices lengthwise in a straight line, overlapping each other on a piece of parchment paper. Blot juices with a paper towel. Starting at the end closest to you, gently and tightly roll the apples. Try not to stop once you have started to roll. Carefully transfer the rolled apple rose into the muffin tin. Repeat rolling apples, until you've created 24 apple roses.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dust the bottom of the pie shell with a bit of flour (to help absorb any juice drippings), then transfer the prepared apple roses to it.
6. Sprinkle the finished pie with sugar. Put in the oven and bake until the apples have cooked and the tops start to brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Let cool completely before serving.