The best way I can describe this dessert is that the world's best apple pie and the world's best cinnamon roll had a baby. The dough is a biscuit dough/ pie crust hybrid that is soft and flaky and fluffy. It's filled with a delicious apple filling reminiscent of apple pie, and baked in a sauce that turns into a caramel-y cinnamon-y syrup. They are not soggy, and are absolute perfection. This recipe has been in my family for a lot of decades and was a family favorite growing up. I tweaked a few things and modernized it a bit (butter instead of shortening) and it. is. fabulous. These are also relatively quick to make, since you don't have to wait for the dough to rise.
How to Make Apple Roll Ups
First, make the syrup. On low heat, combine the water, butter, sugar, and cinnamon into a small saucepan. Stir it a couple of times, then walk away.
While that heats up, start on the dough. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the cold cubed butter and cut it in. Cut it in using a cut-in tool, a fork, or your hands. Paul Hollywood uses his hands, and so do I! It's the easiest way for me to combine them. Using your fingers, simply press the flour mixture into the butter. It takes a few minutes no matter what tool you use. When you're done, it will be crumbly without any chunks of butter left. Add the milk and gently fold the milk into the dry mixture. Now go stir the syrup mixture. It should be done heating up now and should combine nicely. Turn the unit to the absolute lowest heat and let it sit while you finish the roll-ups.
Liberally sprinkle flour across a clean, flat work surface such as a table or counter. Plop the dough out onto the floured surface. Sprinkle flour across the top and gently roll out the dough into a rectangle, about ⅛" thick. Combine sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl. Peel and grate apples. I like to use the large size grater on this grater that we LOVE. Spread the grated apple over the rectangle, then sprinkle the cinnamon/ sugar mixture over the top.
Roll the dough up like you would a cinnamon roll. Cut into 1" sections and place in a 9X13 pan, so that they are evenly spaced. Stir the syrup one last time, then pour all of it across the apple roll-ups. Bake at 350*F for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool at least 45 minutes before serving. Like apple pie, it pairs perfectly with vanilla ice cream.
Tips & Tricks
Don't over mix the dough! It makes it stiff and tough and chewy. It's much better when it's soft, fluffy and flaky.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. My husband prefers them warm with vanilla ice cream, I prefer them cold and plain.