Hello Blissful readers! It’s Marjorie and Kendall, the mother-daughter duo behind The Cook’s Atelier in Beaune, France. We are so thrilled and honored that Mrs. French has asked us to contribute a bi-weekly recipe to Bliss. We have been long-time admirers of Bliss blog and have been inspired by her posts on lifestyle and decorating. We are so excited to share a bit of our life in France with Bliss readers. We hope you enjoy!
The Cook’s Atelier is a cooking school, epicurean center and wine shop in the center of historic Beaune, France. The Cook’s Atelier is a magical place where people come together to celebrate real food, made from scratch. It is much more than a traditional cooking school, the convivial aspects and friendships that are found are just as important as the recipes. Guests come from all over the world to share in the experience of cooking together and sharing a meal. We honor the relationships that we have with the people who spend their lives growing good food and the traditions that are passed down from generations of cooks. The Cook’s Atelier caters to both the cooking aficionado and those who simply enjoy good food, good wine, and a passion for the joie de vivre.
In addition to our brick and mortar shop in historic Beaune, France, we are launching an online shop, The French Larder at The Cook’s Atelier, that will feature cook’s tools, provisions, vintage finds as well as Mauviel copper. Every item that we source for the shop is something we have in our own kitchens. The shop is a constantly changing collection of simple, useful and beautiful things. Nothing too fussy. Our shop is worth a visit, but if that is not possible, our online shop offers a glimpse of some of our favorite finds.
For more information, please visit our website www.thecooksatelier.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pâte sucrée is our go-to tart dough for making tarts at The Cook’s Atelier. We use this tart dough for many of our tarts including our lemon tart, almond pear tart, and, of course, the classic French apple tart. We find this dough easy to work with and it makes for the perfect shell for many classic French tarts. We prefer to make this dough by hand in a big vintage white bowl, but it turns out just as nice if you choose to make it in your Kitchen Aid mixer.
makes enough for 2 tarts
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces, about a half an inch. Add the butter to the flour mixture and, using your hands, begin to toss to coat the butter with the flour. Using your hands, combine the butter with the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Be careful not to overwork the dough as it will make the dough tough. Continue this process until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the heavy cream and egg yolk mixture and toss gently with a fork to incorporate. Feel free to use your hands to continue to combine the ingredients. But again, be sure to not overwork the dough. You can tell when the dough is ready by taking a small handful, squeezing it together. It if holds together, the dough is complete. If not, feel free to add more cream to reach the right consistency. When the dough is ready, divide the dough in two and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Gather the plastic wrap around the dough, forming a pouch, twist and push down to form a flat disk. Chill the dough for at least an hour or, ideally, overnight.
To make the tart shell, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll until a 1/4 inch thick, flouring as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Be sure to maintain a circular shape while rolling out the dough. Beginning at one end, gather the dough at one end onto a rolling pin and gently lift it onto the tart pan. Unroll the dough over a 10-inch tart pan. Gently fit the dough loosely into the tart pan, being mindful not to stretch the dough as you fit it into the pan. To remove the excess dough, you use your thumb to gently scrape along the sides of the tart pan creating a nice, clean edge to the dough.
Chill for 1 hour.
The classic French apple tart is a favorite at The Cook’s Atelier. It’s the perfect ode to autumn and oh so very French! It’s simple to prepare and always makes a big hit at a dinner party. We prefer it not to be too sweet as we rely on the quality of the apples to make it really special.
serves 6 to 8
1 recipe pâte sucrée
3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced into even 1/8-inch slices
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
for the apple purée
3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled cored and diced
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Line the tart pan with the pâte sucrée. Prick the bottom with a fork and line the shell with parchment. Fill the lined tart with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes until the edges are set and lightly browned. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and dried beans.
To make the apple purée, put the diced apples, vanilla bean pod, sugar and butter in a saucepan with 3 to 4 tablespoons of water. Cook gently, stirring often until soft, adding more water if necessary, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean, then discard the pod. Mash the mixture with a fork until smooth.
Heat the butter in a sauté pan and gently sauté the apple slices to coat them in the butter until just softened.
Spread the purée evenly in the partially baked tart shell. Carefully arrange the apple slices in a neat circle around the edge. They should be tightly overlapping but not squished together. Depending on the size of your tart pan and the apples, you can repeat to create an inner circle or just fill in the center in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle over a tablespoon or two of sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven until just browned and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of crème fraîche or Calvados spiked whipped cream.
Marjorie et Kendall
THE COOK’S ATELIER