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Friday, August 19, 2011

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





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...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...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Patricia Wells

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

65 comments :

Foodness Gracious said...

Such a perfect looking tart, thta's all I can say. Except for a slice would be nice..
Thanks for sharing..

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Mary, This tart is gorgeous! Patricia would be so proud of you! I'm bookmarking this. I have lots of entertaining this fall and your Apple tart would be prefect. I could lick the computer!
Yvonne

tasteofbeirut said...

That tart is a dream! Probably the kind she no longer makes, now that she is running marathons! Love patricia wells and often envied her lifestyle, with a house in Provence and a pied-a-terre in Paris!

SweetSavoryPlanet said...

I love P.Wells books. She is such an inspiration. Your tart looks almost too perfect to eat!

Chiara said...

This tart is wonderful Mary,so gorgeous!Have a good day dear...

miliaime said...

Hello Mary!

Thank you so much for taking the time to look around my blog! I tend to feel that it is a ghost town sometimes but I still write my posts nonetheless because I enjoy it. Your blog is simply scrumptious!! I was going to ask if you wanted the recipe for the oatmeal cake squares but I'm starting to think I will have to visit again to take a look at yours!

all the best,
mili

Coleen said...

Absolute perfection!!!

Dzoli said...

Look at this perfect pie.I saw a documentary about J.Child's life.Amazing story of a amazing woman:)She sure deserves every word in your series:)

zaida said...

this is very similar to my mom´s apple tart and i love it.

Wonderful!

Диана said...

Ohhh very tasty
I think this's really One Perfect Bite :)

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

One word-perfection!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Wow! Anyone who combines apples and cream - then BAKES it has my vote for sure!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Kurryleaves said...

gorgeous!!perfect looking tart..absolutely love it

Marina said...

Send some to me!!

Alessandra said...

Definitely a master piece apple tart this one Mary! Good books and good recipes are a treasure :-).

have a good weekend

ciao
Alessandra

bellini said...

This tart is perfection itself Mary!

Sue/the view from great island said...

You've outdone yourself, Mary! The tart looks absolutely glorious, and I love how few ingredients it requires.

SeasonWithSpice said...

Mary, Thanks for your sweet comment on Season with Spice. Otherwise, I wouldn't have found One Perfect Bite and this perfect looking pie. Would love have a bite of this dreamy apple tart now.

Big Dude said...

Mary - your tart looks perfect

Kathy said...

Mary, Such a beautiful tart and the perfect way to represent Patricia Wells. I have enjoyed learning more about Patricia Wells! Have a great weekend!

Martha said...

I came late to the Patricia Wells table but I do like her food and her recipes. Although I do more reading of them than cooking of them. What a wonderful tart and I shall have to try it sometime.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

The tart looks perfect, but I am most delighted to learn of Patricia Wells and look forward to finding some of her books. Thank you, Mary. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. blessings ~ tanna

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

It's just gorgeous Mary! Would be so wonderful with my coffee this morning:@)

Debbie said...

A keeper recipe for sure. I so want to make this. We go apple picking every fall so I will try this then. It is just beautiful. Thank you Mary!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

A flawless presentation piece. I just love the look and as always, a wonderful series!

ButterYum said...

No cooking library is complete without a few selections from Patricia Wells! Absolutely lovely tart - picture perfect.

Beloved Green said...

Love that you picked this recipe for Patricia. I am a fan of this tart!

Karen S Booth said...

C'est parfait! Absolutely wonderful!
Karen

Jenn said...

The tart look absolutely gorgeous, Mary! I think it's time I cook more of Patricia Wells' recipes!

Susan Lindquist said...

Mary! Thanks for the excellent write-up on Patricia Wells. I had never heard of her until this list of women was published! This tart is a classic of French fare isn't it? Perfect in its simplicity ...

Jeannie said...

A most wonderful looking tart.....would love to have a piece of that tart with my afternoon coffee....definitely can see myself digging into it! hope you have a wonderful weekend Mary:)

Claudia said...

I use her bistro cooking book all the time. Authentic and welcoming. This pie is the loveliest way to celebrate her accomplishments. And it really is so - French!

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

What a lovely-looking summer tart! I have never heard of this wonderful cook, I am ashamed to say!

yummychunklet said...

Your tart looks simply perfect and delicious. Fantastic post!

Tracy Wood said...

This tart looks absolutely lovely! Great photo too. I actually just 'discovered' Patricia Wells (don't know where I have been all these years... under a rock probably!) I recently made her Apple Lady's Apple Cake which was a great hit with my family. I will bookmark this recipe and try it soon - almost apple season here!
have a nice weekend!

Y said...

I have a confession to make! I don't know who Patricia Wells is! Thank you for introducing me to her.

Kim said...

This tart looks really really good. I'm really found of apple desserts and this one, I would love it, I'm sure about it... Plus I love Patricia Wells recipes, she's really great. Have a nice week-end Mary!

The Magic Pie said...

I love apple tart and I don't remember the last time I ate it!! :(
Have a nice weekend

Shireen Sequeira said...

This apple tart looks simply delicious! I'll have to find a substitute for crème fraiche, not sure if its easily available here

girlichef said...

This is the epitome of gorgeous food! Wells is definitely a solid is this group of game-changing women :D

FOODalogue said...

That's a stunning execution!

June said...

Wow. Beautiful tart Mary, absolutely stellar. Proves you need just a few good ingredients and great technique to come up with something memorable!

That Girl said...

I wouldn't mind moving to NYC and writing about food when the opportunity presented itself!

Valérie said...

I can't say I'm faniliar with Patricia Wells' accomplishments, unfortunately... But that tart is an accomplishment in itself! It's stunning!

Lauren Hairston said...

It's really gorgeous. I think I'd rather have a slice (or two) than what I've planned for lunch!

Reem said...

Oh this is such a beautiful looking tart..... Love it.

From the Kitchen said...

I hope you don't see my comment over on Sam's blog. The one that says (out of 200+) I don't own one Patricia Wells cookbook and asked Sam to recommend one--or more. Contrary to what my family may think, my cookbook collection is far from complete.

My husband will be pointed to this delicious looking tart recipe.

Best,
Bonnie

Ginny said...

Looks beautiful!

Jamie @ Wokintime said...

Mary, what a gorgeous tart! I have yet to make a tart and this seems like an excellent place to start. And thank you for introducing me to Patricia Wells.

I'm glad I had the chance to explore your blog today. The title "One Perfect Bite" sums up my food philosophy perfectly! Finally, someone who gets it! I just subscribed and will be in touch!

The Blonde Duck said...

That's gorgeous.

Taryn (Have Kitchen, Will Feed) said...

This is gorgeous. I'm pretty sure this is what I will be craving tonight at work :)

Jeanette said...

This week I gained a new respect for Patricia Wells. She doesn't have the same visibility as some of the celebrity chefs these days so people may ot know her as well, but her resume speaks for itself. The tart you made is so representative of the recipes I've seen by Patricia Wells - simple but elegant.

Young Adventures... said...

I have her vegetable harvest book, and really need to pull it out more. The tart looks wonderful. I'm dreaming about all those autumn flavors now. I absolutely LOVE LYDIA! I just requested her latest book from the library and can't wait for the new show to air on PBS. I'll be interested to see all the recipes that everyone tries. Have a great weekend!

polwig said...

Beautiful tarte, I have never heard of Patricia Wells, What is she up to know? Very intriqued

sweetcarolinescooking.com said...

Absolutely stunning tart! I could gobble half of it up in no time. Julia Child always has a special place in my heart, love her.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

That tart is a work of art and I can only think that it tastes heavenly!

Katie said...

You are a fan! 13 cookbooks? I'm impressed. This apple tart looks just beautiful. I love how precisely the apples are arranged. Thanks for organizing this delightful challenge!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Such a wonderful example of someone who followed her passion with delicious results. The tart is a work of art, a fitting tribute to Patricia's passions for art and food.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've haven't tried many of her recipes, but if this is indicative of them, I've been missing a lot. Your rendition is beautiful.

Linda A. Thompson said...

If this tart is as delicious as your photos make it look, I can't wait to try it!

The Harried Cook said...

Gorgeous! Love the tart... I am sure Patricia Wells would be proud... Beautiful! I would love a slice of this! Great post, Mary!

Joanne said...

I need to check out some of Wells's older cookbooks and see what all of his French bistro food is all about! This tart looks absolutely delicious. Homey and oh so satisfying.

Lucie said...

A great classic--both the author and the dessert! A great tarte aux pommes makes simplicity heaven.

Cooking Creation said...

Beautiful tart! I'll be saving this to try when the weather cools some!

Kate Dickerson said...

What a nice tribute to Patricia Wells! Thank you. She has been an inspiration for my husband and me for many years, beginning with her (now out-of-date) Food Lover's Travel Guides to France and Paris. We took her cooking class in Provence 15 years ago and still use tips we learned from her then. And.....all of her cookbooks are the real deal.

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