Why do Decembers ignite this uncontrollable desire for all things dessert? Just to have the hips show every inch of this desire flagrantly off in January.

It is a crisis. But in some crises the best thing to do is…have some dessert. Some apple tartlets. They are truly quick and easy and utterly delicious and very homey. They’re not fancy, rather rustic and no one will be offended if you pick one up by hand. They are meant to be enjoyed with a friend or someone you care about. And leave the plate with tartlets in the middle for a second helping.  One won’t be enough. Oh, and leave one secretly for yourself for tonight, when all is quiet and asleep.

So the hips in January will be even rounder. But that is OK. At least it will give us something to talk and write about in January!

…ingredients for tarte fine aux pommes


  • Choose an apple with a bit of sourness like a Granny smith.
  • The puff pastry can be replaced with another pastry of your choice.
  • Other fruit like pears, figs, peaches, apricots can be used.
  • It you find the top isn’t caramelized enough after baking, then sprinkle with a little brown sugar and caramelize quickly under a hot grill and keep your eye on it.
  • You can make the size of the tartlets as big or small as you like or even a single big tart.
  • Sage leaves are a good substitute for thyme.
  • Try sprinkling a tiny bit of  fleur de sel with vanilla over the top just before baking.
  • Can be enjoyed as dessert with an accompanying scoop of ice cream or créme frâiche, or as a late afternoon snack with tea, a goûter, as we call it in France.

…joanne’s home in Tours…

Joanne's home in Tours 2

My friend Joanne,  allowed me into her home with my camera a while ago. She lives in the centre of Tours, where it takes a few minutes and you can serve up a fresh baguette and croissant for breakfast. With a basket and some walking shoes, you can browse the market just around the corner from her to have fresh veggies on the table at dinnertime. Just down the road from her lives a musician whose melancholic saxophone melodies vagabond down the quiet street. Life is tranquil and beautiful in her home. It reflects the stillness of her character, yet reveals the brilliant colours of her spirited and optimistic nature. Always trying to see the bright side, always ready for a new project, enthusiastic about life with a strong belief that every minute counts. She loves good food and it is just a pleasure inviting her over for a meal and seeing her obvious joy in appreciating what is put in front of her.

Joanne's home in Tours 1

Joanne's garden in tours 3 Joanne's garden in Tours 4

* astuce de grand-mére:

truc et astuces de nos grand-méres

* Boil some vinegar on the stove for a few minutes to eliminate unpleasant kitchen odours.

20 thoughts on “Tarte fine aux pommes and a peek into a french home in Tours.

  1. What a feast both visually and in words. The recipe makes me want to make it right away, not wait for any festivities as the excuse.

    Your friend’s house is exquisite and your photos are beautifully composed.


  2. Ah.. the soupçon of thyme makes it unique..i will try these and think of you,they are lovely and I know they will taste delicious..

    That’s a beautiful home Ronelle..elegant and tasteful..une belle luminosité~

    Quelle belle vie~ Thank you for sharing..

    The saxophone player brings back a memory or two.. 2 areas we visited had musicians/singers and now we wished we had brought their music home when we see and hear them on our videos:)

    Sweet memories..
    You have painted the area perfectly!


  3. How beautiful both the food and the pictures of the house! Amazing home! I would love to come and visit…. looks like a dream


  4. I’ve been reading dessert recipes for weeks, Ronell and making double quantities of creamy rice pudding and pears poached in white wine. Now I’m going to have to add apple tarts to my sins – and hips.

    Beautiful photographs of your friends elegant home too.


  5. The apple tarts are beautiful and sound divine. Good comfort foods. I, too, am finding I am into all things sweet this time of the year ~ so for now, let us eat desserts … and enjoy. We can always resolve to exercise more in 2010!
    Fabulous photographs of your lovely friend and her home. Don’t you love finding a kindred spirit!


  6. Beautiful Phot’os,gorgeous apple tart’s,yes i am having a very sweet tooth at the moment as well,thank’s for letting us see your friend’s lovely home.


  7. Gorgeous tarte, gorgeous home, gorgeous blog! So nice to meet you!


  8. Oh, your friend lives on the set of French art film, complete with melancholy saxophone!! 🙂 What a lovely description of her and lovely pictures of her home.

    And I *love* those easy-peasy apple tarts! Definitely going to make them…


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