Thursday, December 11, 2014

Classic Cookbooks and a Classic Apple Tart with Frangipane


My husband and I were invited to a casual "Joyeux Noel" party that friends were having at their home the first weekend of the Christmas season.  The hosts have a cookbook that they enjoy using entitled in English, "I Know How To Cook," or "Je Sais Cuisiner," in French, by author Genette Mathiot. They used a favorite recipes  form this cookbook as their inspiration for their party menu. This cookbook has sold over six million copies in France, since it was published in 1932, and is one of the most popular cookbooks in French households.  In Italy, "Il Cucchiaio d' Argento" or in English, "The Silver Spoon" cookbook is that nation's most popular cookbook.  What both cookbooks have in common, is that the thousand plus recipes that are within, are basic home cooking and written in simple succinct terms without illustrations. There are very few "step by step instructions" in both cookbooks, as cooking techniques are understood, and not described. They are probably not cookbooks for a true novice, but the recipes work and are delicious! I'm not sure we have a cookbook equivalent in the US of these two cookbooks?  What would you nominate for the honor of a cookbook every American household probably has on their shelves?   In my early marriage I relied on "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook, but perhaps the bride of today likes Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" cookbook?   I have many favorite cookbooks, in fact I blogged about some of them quite a while ago in 2008, that helped me to learn how to cook southern Italian food that my husband grew up eating.  Unfortunately, the blog that inspired me to write the post no longer exists, but many many more food blogs exist today that are a wealth of inspiration and most likely the recipes most of us turn to when we are searching online about how to make something pleasing.  I have so many favorite food blogs that I would not know where to begin to list them, but one of my favorite websites to turn to is the Williams Sonoma Recipes web site, as I have never been disappointed by one of their recipes!


I wanted to bring a French style dessert to our friends party and a tart came to mind.  A quick search lead me to a selection of wonderful looking apple tarts, and the one I chose to make was the Classic Apple Tart with Frangipane.  I knew there would be quite a few people at the Joyeux Noel party, so instead of using a regular size 9 inch tart pan I used a larger 12 inch pan and increased the recipe ingredients by one third.


If you are looking for a light and delicious apple tart for a holiday dessert I think you'll be pleased with this recipeor a similar Williams Sonoma Apple Frangipane Tart recipe using a purchased puff pastry crust in a rectangular shaped tart pan. I may make that next time!


We had a wonderful time at the party and enjoyed the French theme! The hosts might do a German themed Christmas party next year, on the suggestion of another friend, and perhaps the year after I can collaborate with them to have an Italian themed Christmas party? There is no doubt that no matter what the party theme will be it is fun to celebrate the holidays with friends!


My Christmas tree is decorated (come back to see it in my next post!), my Christmas shopping is completed, and my Christmas cards are mailed.  Now to begin baking some of my favorite Christmas cookies for the holidays!  I look forward to searching your blog for a few new cookies to try!


Linking this post to  the following blog events:

Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.
Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good Cakes
Home Sweet Home at the Charm of Home
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Thank you to the blog hosts!

* In full disclosure I was NOT compensated in any way for this post by any of the cookbooks mentioned or web links. provided. 

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19 comments:

Barb said...

Pat, Your tart looks absolutely yummy and those Santa dishes are too cute. The only thing I've baked so far is pumpkin bread - Bob is eating most of it himself!

eileeninmd said...

Pat, your tart looks absolutely delicious.. I am sure everyone enjoyed your dessert.. The Christmas dishes are pretty.. Thanks for sharing the recipe, enjoy your evening!

Parsimonious Perfection said...

That looks absolutely sublime. Yummm!

Michelle said...

That tart not only looks delicious, it also is a work of art.

ellen b. said...

A great choice for your gathering and it looks delicious!

Nellie said...

Betty Crocker has been my mainstay for cookbooks through the years, though I've a few extra favorites now. This sounds like a marvelous party!

Jim said...

That looks yummy.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Simply gorgeous tart Pat. You can never go wrong with a French apple tart. Your friend's party sounds like a fabulous event. Have a great time!
Sam

thepaintedapron.com said...

Just gorgeous!!
Jenna

Linda Kay said...

Pat, I've never seen anything quite like this....looks like it was done by a special pastry chef!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

A stunning tart, Pat. I love cookbooks, too--and I am also inspired by WS's recipes (and the catalog is a wonderful place to get lost).

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful looking tarte, Pat. I can imagine how great it tasted. I've never been to the WS site but will meander over there now on your recommendation.

Bethany Carson said...

Mmmm! That looks beautiful and delicious!

Vee said...

That looks scrumptious!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Gorgeous apple tart, Pat! Beautifully fitting for a party. I have the Silver Spoon but really haven't used it too much, I have to admit. I should really pick it up again. I think any of the Williams Sonoma cookbooks are great and Dorie Greenspans baking cookbooks too.

thestonerabbit said...

I'm certain that tart was a hit at the party.....it was beautiful ! HPS! Dana

The Charm of Home said...

That looks fantastic! Thank you for linking with HSH! Have a very Merry Christmas!
Sherry

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat- i missd this one, and I'm glad I got back to it, because it's a beautiful tart and an introduction to a cookbook I didn't know about.

Daniela said...

Dear Pat,
your recipes are always so yummy, you do have to believe me, I'm Italian, as you well know !!!
Have a wonderful weekend my sweet friend,
sending love and hugs
Dany