Chai Spiced Apple Rose Tart
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Chai-spiced Apple Rose Tart

This Chai Spiced Apple Rose Tart was inspired by the very talented Julie Jones. For those who don’t know her, she is the author of The Soulful Baker and creates the most beautiful tarts and pies. I made a few adjustments to her recipe – I used my go-to shortcrust pastry recipe and added a generous amount of Chai-spices to the frangipane filling.

The result is simply superb! A crisp, buttery pastry filled with spiced almond frangipane and sweet, slightly crisp apples. All the delicate work in making the apple roses certainly pays off when you present this gorgeous tart to your friends or family – talk about wow-factor! The little pastry leaves are of course optional, but adds a little hint of autumn which I love.


For the pastry:
1 x quantity basic shortcrust pastry

Frangipane Filling:
125g butter, softened (½cup)
125g castor sugar (130ml)
5ml ground cinnamon (1 tsp)
2,5ml ground cloves (½ tsp)
2,5ml ground ginger (½ tsp)
2,5ml ground cardamom (½ tsp)
A generous pinch of ground black pepper
2 large eggs
125g ground almonds (1 cup)
45g cake flour (⅓ cup)

Apple Topping:
10-12 apples, preferably different colours
3 lemons


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry out to 3-4mm thick and use to line a 24cm diameter tart tin (preferably a loose-bottomed tin). Carefully fit the pastry into the tart tin, pressing well into the edges. Roll your rolling pin across the top of the tin to smoothly remove any excess pastry on the edges. Keep the excess pastry wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge or freeze for another day.
  • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes (this prevents the pastry from shrinking).
  • Prick the pastry with a fork then cover with baking paper and baking beans. Bake at 180°C for 12-15 minutes, then remove paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature.
  • To make the frangipane filling, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the spices and mix well. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Lastly, mix in the ground almonds and flour and beat until well combined.
  • Spoon over the cooled pastry and spread evenly with the back of the spoon. Preheat your oven to 160°C.
  • To make the apple roses, fill a large bowl with water and add the juice of half a lemon. Slice 4 apples into very thin vertical slices (maximum 1mm thick). This is a breeze if you have a mandoline! Remove any seeds or hard bits with a sharp knife as you go.
  • Places the apples in the lemon-water and microwave for 5 minutes on full power. You want to partially cook the apples so that they soften a bit and are easier to roll. After 5 minutes, test a slice to see if it rolls easily. If it cracks, continue to heat in 60-second intervals until the apple slices are easy to roll.
  • Drain off the water, then place the apple slices in another bowl of cold water with the juice of the other half of the lemon, while you start making your roses.
  • Take 7-8 slices and lay them on a clean tea towel in a row, overlapping somewhat. You don’t want the slices to be too wet, so pat them as dry as you can with another tea towel or paper towel. Now start at one end of the row and roll up the slices into a rose shape. This can be a bit tedious at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it! As soon as you have a rose formation, press the apple rose into the frangipane filling. Repeat this with the rest of the apples, slicing another batch as needed. You can also make some smaller roses with 4-5 slices to fill in any gaps. I used 10 apples but it depends on what size they are.  Once you have covered the surface of the frangipane with apple roses, use your fingers to open the “petals” a bit.
  • Roll out your excess pastry out and cut into leaf, flower, star or heart shapes as you wish. Gently place them in and around the roses.
  • Place the tart onto a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Check halfway through to ensure the edges of the roses are not going too brown, if they are then cover loosely with foil. A skewer should come out clean when the tart is done, if not then bake for another 10-20 minutes.
  • Allow the tart to cool for about 20 minutes before carefully removing from the tin.
  • Delicious served with custard, cream or ice-cream.

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