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!
Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

  • Miriam/The Winter Guest

    If I was a judge, I would certainly be bribed… :). Good luck!

  • eatlivetravelwrite

    Elle a l’air délicieux, ta tarte fine aux pommes – miam! Je dirais bonne chance mais tu n’en auras pas besoin. Je pense que tu iras loin dans les défis… en espérons que je me trouve là avec toi!

  • jenjenk

    i agree with miriam, i can totally be bribed. :)
    beautiful, beautiful shots and i love how elegant this is!!

  • Anonymous

    Hahahahah awesome! Love that you tied your story into a recipe (the mark of a true food blogger). I’m not worthy;-P

  • Kristin @ delishliving

    Your blog is stunning, and your photography is gorgeous. I love it. Now to try some of your delicious looking recipes….

    Good luck in the competition. Your write up is excellent!

  • Jun Belen

    WOW! That’s an awesome post. I found your blog just today. Obviously, I am new to all of this. I just started writing about food not too long ago. You are such an inspiration. And like what Marc said, the mark of a true food blogger is linking a story with a recipe. Well done. And that;s a lovely Tarte Fine aux Pommes, by the way.

  • Joan Nova

    You do beautiful work and I really enjoyed reading your entry. You certainly have one of my votes. Good luck.

  • Anonymous

    You’re too kind, thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Oh pleeaaase! You’re gonna be the one ending up winning this thing. hehe. :) Thanks, Marc!

  • Anonymous

    Oh la la.. tu parles vraiment bien le Francais! Quel talent, alors! :) Merci pour ton commentaire sympa.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jun, for the nice comment. And welcome! :)

  • sippitysup

    Wow, you are going to be a contender in this thing! But I know you knew that. Great post. Awesome entry. GREG

  • beaulotus

    La tarte fine aux pommes avec de la frangipane, je suis séduite, c’est clair!

    Bonne chance avec les juges :-)

  • mayssam

    One of my first memories is arranging apple slices with my mom on a pâte brisée base with crème pâtissière :) but I love the idea of the frangipane! The tart looks awesome and I hope those judges will be bribed by this and by how gorgeous your blog looks! :)

  • City Share

    The tart looks delicious. I just posted my entry and found it difficult. Your post is great. Best of luck.

  • Adelina Badalyan

    Great bribe… Too bad I am not a judge. You’re right about mouthwatering for sure… I just had an apple tart this morning… leftover from a dinner party from a friend’s house. I was going to try getting recipe from them, but yours definitely stands out!!! You’re a great inspiration and love reading your posts. Best of luck to you and hope to see sailing!

  • Speakeasy Kitchen

    A bribe! No why didn’t I think of that? Good luck with PFB.

  • Brilynnf

    Good luck in the competition, I think it’s going to be fun to see what bloggers come up with over the next few weeks!

  • Su-yin

    Err silly question, but how does one vote? Great apple tart by the way, I like the pretty design. Consider me bribed. 😀

  • Cheriechef

    Frangipane… j’adore. Merci pour la superbe recette! Tres originale. I love the presentation!

  • Anonymous

    Mais tout le monde parle Francais ici, c’est diiingue! :)

  • Anonymous

    Ha! Good question, Su-Yin.. Voting opens tomorrow on Foodbuzz’s website. I will link to it as soon as i know.

  • Anonymous

    Merci bien! Je croise les doigts. :)

  • Anonymous

    Mmm.. it’s good with crème pâtissière also. Elle a bon gout ta maman! :)

  • Ashlee Kizer

    Thank you for sharing you life with us. I am loving reading about everyone’s life during this foodbuzz challenge. I posted my FBC blog yesterday. Check it out and let me know what you think.

  • Anonymous

    Okay okay – you win. Lol I’m not a judge but if I were your bribe would totally work on me

  • Em

    It’s gonna be a tough competition but you certainly have a great chance of winning! Good luck!

  • Casey Angelova

    Absolutely gorgeous! Truly picture perfect. Great post! Good luck with PFB!

  • Suzy

    You have really lovely recipes, always!

  • Trissa

    I love visiting your blog – each visit makes me laugh or drool… or sometimes both. Good luck in the competition!

  • Jason Phelps

    I agree with you. I think I have what it takes to but I can only pour that into the work that I do and have to leave the outcome to others. That is why I do it for fun and consider everything else a bonus.

    Good luck!


  • Anonymous

    I’ve always loved how you mix excellent photography, really interesting recipes, and great humor into each post. Best of luck! You’ll go far. :)

  • Avanika

    That’s a beautiful tart! Off to vote for you :) I chickened out once I saw the challenges 😛

  • Lemons and Anchovies

    I think I’ll give up on PFB now that I know you’re a contender–no point anymore! :-) Seriously, I’ve been a fan of your blog since you started. It’s one of the reasons I started my own six months ago. Your creations are awe-inspiring and paired with your humorous writing, you’re a strong, strong contender. You won’t need my vote but I will anyway. :-)

  • Sues

    I love this! And I would also like a huge scoop of ice cream on that apple tart. So glad to have discovered you through this wonderful Project Food Blog… Yay!! :)

  • Anonymous

    This gotta be the sweetest comment, ever. Thank you so much! I’m glad i was able to provide some inspiration. I’m voting for YOU, Lady. :)

  • jacobskitchen

    Great post as always! Stunning pictures, as always. Poor us for having to compete against you. I voted for you! =)

    Good luck!

    Check out my PFB post :

  • Oui, Chef

    Of course you have a vote from me….I only wish I could give you more than one!

  • Joy Zhang

    I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time I read this post — if i could vote for you 1000 times I would!

    You are like my brad pitt in this food blog world — you’re charismatic, hilarious and with insanely talented cooking skills like yours I don’t see how a woman’s heart wouldn’t melt.

    Every time I read your posts for some reason I always leave feeling more important, like I should be eating all of your creations in my best black dress and my special going out heels. Classy, it’s the way I like it! Can’t wait to see the rest of your entires, best of luck Zen :)

  • saltyseattle

    literally sweet post, baby- can’t wait to see more! especially what you come up with for the next challenge- it should be a fun one, no? you inspire me. exes and oh baby’s, l

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Best of luck Zen! I’m sure you won’t need it being so popular though! 😀 😉

  • onlinepastrychef

    One mistake: that tart serves ONE. :) Best of luck in the competition–looking forward to your being in this one for the long haul!

  • Norma

    Love your blog and just voted. Good luck. I am also in the running. This is quite exciting. Can’t wait to follow your blog from here on.

    Platanos, Mangoes and me!

  • Bunkycooks

    This is enough to bribe me! You know I love your beautiful dishes and photos. Best of luck! :)

  • Magic of Spice

    That is quite a bribe :) Lovely entry and I look forward to your future challenges :) Best of luck..

  • ObviouslyOmnivore

    these look amazing! seriously! i can only wish that my tarts would looks half as gorgeous as these. i’m pretty sure i’ll be frustrated even before i arrange those apples like that. oh good luck on pfb btw!

  • Food Lover’s Odyssey

    Not sure if your plan will work on the judges, but this scrumptious tart gets my vote.

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t know what i’m gonna do for the next challenge. Eeeck! :)
    Thank you for the nice comment.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never been called “the brad pitt” of food blogging before. Hehe.. You are waayyy too kind to me and i just don’t know how to respond to your comment. I’m kinda of speechless. :) Thank you, Joy!

  • Kellypea

    What a fabulous blog you have. The tart recipe is lovely, too. You’ve got my vote :)