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Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients [Hardcover]

Ina Garten
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 28 2008
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is the essential Ina Garten cookbook, focusing on the techniques behind her elegant food and easy entertaining style, and offering nearly a hundred brand-new recipes that will become trusted favorites.

Ina Garten’s bestselling cookbooks have con-sistently provided accessible, subtly sophisticated recipes ranging from French classics made easy to delicious, simple home cooking. In Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina truly breaks down her ideas on flavor, examining the ingredients and techniques that are the foundation of her easy, refined style.

Here Ina covers the essentials, from ten ways to boost the flavors of your ingredients to ten things not to serve at a party, as well as professional tips that make successful baking, cooking, and entertaining a breeze. The recipes—crowd-pleasers like Lobster Corn Chowder, Tuscan Lemon Chicken, and Easy Sticky Buns—demonstrate Ina’s talent for transforming fresh, easy-to-find ingredients into elegant meals you can make without stress.

For longtime fans, Ina delivers new insights into her simple techniques; for newcomers she provides a thorough master class on the basics of Barefoot Contessa cooking plus a Q&A section with answers to the questions people ask her all the time. With full-color photographs and invaluable cooking tips, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is an essential addition to the cherished library of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

Frequently Bought Together

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients + Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust + Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again
Price For All Three: CDN$ 75.24

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

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

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

French Apple Tart
Serves 6
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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ina Garten again delivers a great cookbook! Jan. 6 2009
By Iveta
I am a bit of a cookbook junkie. I have all six of Ina Garten's cookbooks and use them all the time. Every single recipe of the many I tried so far have worked fabulously - unlike a lot of other cookbooks where it is a "hit and miss" effort. I especially like how she boils each recipe down to the essence and explains everything in detail. I have no hesitation in highly recommending all of her cookbooksBarefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over AgainThe Barefoot Contessa CookbookBarefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like FamilyBarefoot Contessa Parties!: Ideas and Recipes for Easy Parties That Are Really FunBarefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. From this particular book, so far I tried her roasted potato leek soup - heavenly, white pizza with arugula - instant family classic, herb marinated loin of pork - great for parties and everyone's favorite, wild mushroom risotto - amazing depth of flavours, french apple tart - wonderful foolproof pastry for anyone (even baking beginners like myself), country french omelet - my husband's fave, homemade granola - flavourful snack to take to work. I am slowly working through all the recipes, knowing that if I follow the instructions, the results will be a notch above great. Thanks again, Ina.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Food Oct. 24 2009
By Chrys
The Barefoot Contessa's back to Basics is full of great recipes. Everything I have made from the book has turned out to be good. Still working on trying more of the recipes. Unfortunately, some of the ingredients are impossible to to find. Other than that, it is a fun book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Delicious but not boring. April 24 2010
I own all of Ina Garten's cook books and have purchased many over and over again as gifts. This book is one of those books. The first food items we made were for a dinner party hosted for friends. We loved the recipes we tried; Cape cod Chopped salad,Roasted Turkey roulade and pumpkin roulade with ginger buttercream were all well received. I have also made the Parmesan-roasted broccoli and easy French apple tart. I love how the recipes have wonderful photographs that always make the recipes more appealing. She also gives helpful tips in all of her cookbooks for entertaining. I will look forward to making more of the recipes here and hope you enjoy it too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite cooks Dec 10 2012
By Gloria
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Love the pictures and have tried many recipes with great success. Will be buying her new cook book as well. Love the fact that these recipes are the basics and I then can play with some of the ingredients.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Flavours from Simple Ingredients March 28 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Another great Ina Garten cookbook. Beautifully illustrated, easy to follow. Recipes are delicious and suited to all levels of home cooks. I would recommend this book as a must have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Ina's Cookbooks March 6 2014
By Rynn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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 results are so delicious. The cookbook itself was beautifully photographed, and well constructed. Love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good recipes Sept. 17 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can always depend on Ina's recipes for flavour, presentation and easy to do and the guest always love them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics May 30 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am extremely pleased with this book and the recipes I have tried to date have been perfect. I would highly recommend this author!!
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