Project Food Blog: “The Next Food Blog Star” & Tarte Fine aux Pommes to bribe the judges

I’m entering this post to Foodbuzz’s “Project Food Blog 2010: The Next Food Blog Star”. Voting for me will guarantee you many years of good apple karma. You know, that’s the exact opposite of rotten apple karma. That’s when you’re about to take a bite and a little worm comes out and look at you in the eye. Yuck, yuck… You don’t want that!

Some of my earliest memories consist of arranging apple slices on a tart pan lined with pâte brisée. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and i was helping my mom to make an apple tart with a layer of compote de pommes (apple sauce) underneath the apples. I was forbidden to get too close to the oven yet but i still remember the sense of accomplishment as i watched the perfect tarte aux pommes come out of the oven. I just couldn’t wait to sink my baby teeth into it. Somehow, those early steps in the kitchen helped define the chef and food blogger that i am today.

Fast forward 30 years and i realize my life hasn’t changed much since those early days in the kitchen except for a bunch of cavities and a few gray hair and a new home across the Atlantic ocean. Now it’s part of my job to make tarte aux pommes for my fancy clients when apple season comes around, except the apples come from their orchards and not from Madame Renard at the market in town.

So if there’s a theme to my life, it’s certainly this tarte aux pommes. And what defines me as a food blogger is this passion for sharing with wonderful people what i’ve been doing all my life, and for many more years to come.

I like when things go full circle.

Of course, thirty years don’t pass without tweaking a recipe a little. The pâte brisée with compote de pommes gave way to puff pastry with almond frangipane but i admit i do go back to the old recipe often. What a wonderful thing a blog is to record the different incarnations of a recipe.

So should i be the next food blog star? Why not? Do i have what it takes? I think so. Do i want a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on my apple tart? HECK YEA! Ultimately the readers and the judges will decide. I like to think what sets me apart as a food blogger is the consistency and quality of my content. I aim at providing foolproof recipes, mouthwatering photos and random silliness in equal measures, twice a week. It ain’t always easy to be silly, but i won’t sleep if i have to.

Whatever the outcome will be, i will continue to do what i’ve been doing for the past 3 years: Improving my writing, food photography and recipes while being grateful to be part of this giant creative bubble that is food blogging.

Thank you for reading and for voting from september 20th to the 23rd (Now vote .. yes YOU!.. grrrr… you can also follow the link in the widget on the top left corner of the blog.)

You can check out my Foodbuzz profile here and follow me on Twitter for more updates.

  • Tarte Fine aux Pommes

    • Serves 6
    • For the tart:
    • 1 sheet high-quality puff pastry
    • 8 small to medium granny smith apples
    • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
    • For the frangipane:
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 cup whole almonds
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
    • To finish:
    • 1/2 cup apricot jam (for glazing)
    • vanilla ice cream
    • For the frangipane:
    • Place the sugar and the whole almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. About 2 minutes.
    • Add the butter and process until combined.
    • Add the eggs and the almond extract if using and process until smooth. About 1 minute.
    • Add the flour and process until combined. Reserve. The extra frangipane can be frozen until another use.
    • For the tart:
    • Preheat the oven to 375′F.
    • On the floured surface, roll out the puff pastry. Using a large pastry ring (or a lid) to cut out 6 rounds of dough, about 4 to 5 inches in diameter each. Place each round of dough on a baking tray and prick with a fork. Place the tray in the freezer for a few minutes.
    • Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, cut them in half and slice them finely and evenly.
    • Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of almond frangipane onto each rounds of pastry and spread it around in an even layer.
    • Arrange the apple slices on top of the almond frangipane in a circular pattern.
    • Brush the apples with melted butter and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the bottom crust is golden brown and the apples on top begin to caramelize around the edges.
    • Meanwhile place the apricot jam with 3 or 4 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir with a pastry brush until you obtain a thick apricot glaze.
    • Brush the top of the tarts with the apricot glaze and serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
    • Enjoy!
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  • Talkoftomatoes

    So happy to vote you, meet you and otherwise say hello!

  • http://www.taylormademenus.com Virginia Taylor

    I want good apple karma seeing that I have three fully producing apple trees in my backyard. Thank you for the wonderful recipe, I will definitely make it! You have me vote!

  • http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog Matt

    VOTED. you rock :)

  • http://twitter.com/ginaruiz Gina Ruiz

    If I were a judge, I’d certainly be bribed. I voted. Good luck.

  • http://www.forkspoonnknife.com Asha@FSK

    OK! you really scared me with that worm voodoo :P PP So, yes I voted for you :) ) Does that mean, I’ll never get a rotten apple in my life now?

  • Anonymous

    That tart looks divine. I’m salivating over it despite a full stomach. Best of luck, you’ve got our vote!

    Lick My Spoon

  • xavier

    Grand classique cette tarte aux pommes !!
    Bravo pour l’idée de la crème d’amandes, je ne connaissais pas.
    Continue comme ça !

  • http://twitter.com/Nesrinegamal cookoholic

    OOhhhh lovely tarts….they are really fabulous, got my vote :)
    if you wanna check my entry here it is..
    http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/263

  • Butter

    I am so happy to have met you through Twitter and Foodbuzz! I love your blog and this PFB post. These are memories that will live forever – we are so lucky to have them as well as to share the energy they bring. Your photographs are beautiful and I am definitely going to try your recipes – especially because you are a chef! I am definitely voting for you!
    - Butter
    (from runningonbutter)

  • Savory Sweet Living

    The tart looks beautiful and thanks for sharing your personal story. Great entry and you got my vote. Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/kitchconfidante Kitchen Confidante

    You will always have my vote, apple karma or not! I always enjoy your humor, and am a sucker for your gorgeous photography. Oh, and your recipes aren’t bad, either ;) Seriously, though, I love your work and wish you the best of luck!

  • Aardvark

    i didn’t have any jam, so I used apricot schanpps mixed with cornflour to thicken it up. This recipe is sooo good.