Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Using a vegetable peeler partially peel apples, leaving vertical strips of skin intact. Place apples in six 10-ounce custard cups or 10-ounce au gratin dishes; set aside.
In a bowl stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. Add cranberry juice. Stir until sugar dissolves. Divide syrup evenly among the dishes. Place dishes in a large shallow baking pan.
For pastry, in a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender cut in butter until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture. Toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to one side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time until all the dough is moistened. If necessary, gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a 10-inch square. Cut square in half. Cut each half crosswise into 3 rectangles. (You will have 6 rectangles total.) Set aside one rectangle of pastry.
Cut the remaining 5 rectangles into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-wide strips. Randomly arrange strips vertically over apples in dishes, tucking one end of each pastry strip into the center of the apples and pressing the rest of the strip onto the surface of the apple. Using a leaf cookie cutter or a knife, cut remaining rectangle of pastry into 6 leaf shapes. Brush all of the pastry pieces with milk. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Place the leaves on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Bake apples, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and apples are tender. Stand prebaked leaves in the center of each baked apple before serving. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.