Saturday, September 28, 2013

50 Women Game Changers in Food - #11 Patricia Wells - Golden Cream and Apple Tart

Julia Child stole my heart, but Patricia Wells grabbed all the shelf space as each of her thirteen books found a spot in the bookcases against my den walls. In an industry that has fallen victim to the cult of personality, this quiet and unassuming woman continues to write and teach and create gorgeous meals that define what good cooking should be. She does it without fuss or fanfare, and, fortunately for us, she records what happens in her kitchen. She studied art history and journalism in college. While she loved to cook, there were no food writers at the time she graduated, so she used her other skill and became an art critic for the Washington Post. Bored, she moved to New York and began to write about food whenever the opportunity arose. In 1976 she became a food writer for the New York Times and was finally able to combine her love of food and cooking with her writing. Two years later she moved to Paris to write for the Anglophone papers and, following publication of her first book, became the first woman restaurant critic for the French newspaper L'Express. In the intervening years, she garnered a James Beard Award for her writing and established a cooking school that is held in high regard. While French food is her forte, she now runs marathons and her work in recent years features lighter, healthier fare. I've selected this beautiful peasant tart to represent her recipes. It is delicious, simple to make and a perfect example of French bistro cooking. I hope you'll give it a try.

Golden Cream and Apple Tart - Tarte Aux Pommes A La Creme


3large egg yolks

3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream

5 tablespoons sugar, divided use

1 tart shell, pre-baked and cooled

4 cooking apples (about 1-1/2 pounds), such as Granny Smith


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2) Place egg yolks in a large bowl and beat with a fork. Add creme fraiche and 3 tablespoons sugar, mixing until well-blended. Set Aside.

3) Peel and core apples. Cut them in half and then cut each half into quarters. Starting just inside edge of pastry shell, neatly layer slices, slightly overlapping them, in 2 or 3 concentric circles, working toward center of tart. Pour cream mixture over apples. Sprinkle top with reserved 2 tablespoons sugar.

4) Bake in center of oven until cream filling is set and apples are very brown, even blackened at edges, about 45 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 8 servings.

The following bloggers are also paying tribute to Patricia Wells. I hope you'll visit all of them.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast

Joanne - Eats Well With Others

Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed

Susan - The Spice Garden

Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey

Heather - girlichef

Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney

Jeanette - Healthy Living

April - Abby Sweets

Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud

Mary - One Perfect Bite

Kathleen -Bake Away with Me

Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen

Sue - The View from Great Island

Barbara - Movable Feasts

Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds

Amy - Beloved Green

Next week we will highlight the food and recipes of Lidia Bastianich. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information. Everyone is welcome.

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