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Photo Post: Spring Orchard Blossoms


Photo Post: Spring Orchard Blossoms

Come the depths of winter, one of my absolute favorite things to do is spend some time curled up under a blanket looking at photos from the warmer seasons. These images bring to life the feeling of sun on my face and remind me that the change of seasons is coming... eventually. Now, I'm definitely not one of those people who totally despises winter and counts down the days until it'll be gone until next year. I love the winter (though admittedly less here in Portland where I have to drive to get a good dose of snow), but that doesn't make me immune from a good mid-winter break remembering the warmth of the sun! 

So as we move our way into February, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some images from a few glorious blue skied days last spring. I was out shooting a few projects for Taste the Local Difference that included taking time to drive around Leelanau County and photograph the blossom season. My absolute favorite thing about northwest Michigan's cherry growing culture is definitely the feeling of a beautiful spring day in the country surrounded by those all encompassing white blossoms. If you haven't taken the time to walk through an orchard in blossom, please do someday. It's absolutely glorious! 

Am I right? 

In 2016, I'll be bringing you a (at least) monthly installment of some of my favorite photographs on a given subject. Some of them may be food related, and some of them less so. No matter what they're of - I guarantee they'll bring a little joy into your life! 


apple rosettes


apple rosettes

These beautiful apple and puff pastry roses are super simple to make, and an absolutely show-stopping dessert. Plus, they're tasty to boot! Make these beauties when you're having folks over for dinner and want them to oooh and ahhh at your skills (but you don't want to out in too much time). Or serve them as a rather light end to the Thanksgiving meal! 

While you can always take things a step further and make homemade puff pastry, making this stunning dessert is amazingly simple with puff pastry from your local grocery store’s freezer section. To really kick things up a notch, make sure to buy the puff pastry made with all butter (the flavor is so much better!). I used Grand Central Bakery's  bake-at-home puff pastry, packed with Oregon butter. 

We cut our puff pastry into strips and sprinkle them with sugar, cinnamon, and a little grating of fresh nutmeg. You know things are going to be delicious just looking at these! 

Next, we line up our apples which have been cooked slightly in boiling water to make them flexible (so they don't break when we roll up our roses!). 

Then just fold the pastry up to form a little taco around the apples, and roll it on up from the edge to create a perfectly swirled apple rose! 

These can be baked in a muffin tin or individual ramekins, until the puff pastry is browning on the edges. The edges should be beautifully puffed while the middle will be a bit wet. 

Ready, set, bake! 


2 apples

1 sheet puff pastry

½ lemon

granulated sugar


freshly ground nutmeg


  • First, we need to prepare the apples. Cut each apple in half and carefully remove the core, then slice each half into ⅛ to ¼ inch thick slices. Separate slices and place them in a medium bowl with the juice from one lemon. Cover with boiling water and let sit for about 1 minute, until the slices are flexible, but not mushy! Strain water, and set apples aside.

  • Carefully unfold defrosted puff pastry (leave it in the fridge at least overnight to defrost), and gently roll it with a rolling pin to even out any creases and stretch it out just a bit. Cut the pastry into 2 inch wide strips that are 12 inches or less long.

  • One strip at a time, sprinkle puff pastry with a little sugar, cinnamon, and just a smidge of nutmeg. Line apple slices, overlapping half of each slice along the top half of the strip (as seen in the photo). Fold pastry up over the apples, then start at one end and roll into as tight of a spiral as you can.

  • Set each finished rosette into a large muffin tin or individual ramekins.

  • Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, until the pastry is browned on the edges. Let cool in pan about 10 minutes, then carefully remove each rosette and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve if you like.