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Ina Garten is one of the country’s most beloved culinary icons and the author of five previous cookbooks. She can be seen on Food Network, where her shows, Barefoot Contessa and Back to Basics, are among the network’s most watched. Ina also writes a column on entertaining for House Beautiful magazine. Visit Ina at BarefootContessa.com.
French Apple Tart
This just might be my all-time favorite dessert. It's the simple essence of sweet apples and crisp pastry with no distractions. We've all collected several similar recipes over the years, but this is the best one I've ever made. If I need to make it even faster, I use defrosted frozen puff pastry instead of making the crust (see note), but you'll want to eat it an hour or two after it comes out of the oven.
For the Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
For the Apples:
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small-diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam (see note)
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water
For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough slightly larger than 10x14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in ¼ - inch-thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full ½ cup sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes: For a really fast apple tart, you can use one sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted. Roll out to 10x10 inches and then proceed with the apples.
Good overall cookbook. Many of the recipes are in fact great and easy to prepare. The downside is that some are so fatty I would never bother making them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John
Ina writes great recipes that are reliable and easy to follow.Published 7 months ago by Alongtimecook
Love Ina Garten and all her cookbooks. I bought this as a gift for a friend who loves to cook. The recipes are amazing and the book is full of photos. I may buy one for myself.Published 9 months ago by Milena Di Mascio
I loved this book. I made the chocolate log and the chicken recipe. Both were very good. Instructions are clear, and pictures make it easy to know what it should look at the endPublished 15 months ago by Saraz
Another great Ina Garten cookbook. Beautifully illustrated, easy to follow. Recipes are delicious and suited to all levels of home cooks. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Sherrybones
I love Ina Garten's cookbooks - so far I have three and they are all terrific. The recipes are easy to follow, the ingredients can be found at most supermarkets, and the final... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rynn
I can always depend on Ina's recipes for flavour, presentation and easy to do and the guest always love them.Published on Sept. 17 2013 by Danielle Martin
I am extremely pleased with this book and the recipes I have tried to date have been perfect. I would highly recommend this author!!Published on May 30 2013 by Delvecchiodjdel
All her cookbooks are no-fail. I don't mix milk with meat and I don't eat shellfish and I still find this cookbook has plenty in it that I can make. Read morePublished on May 3 2013 by Terri