The car is filled with the warm scent of freshly baked bread as I make the return journey from the boulangerie, snaking through barely moving walls of corn and sunflowers that skitter the light of this late summer morning on the surface of the empty road that unrolls before me. Usually I think of today and rejoice but today I thought of possible distant tomorrows in which such peaceful moments will be the stuff of fiction or memory…but that’s not today.

Late summer is testament to unfairness and inequality. The world that I know goes on holiday in August and it rains…and rains,  drains optimism and makes us vow never to go again where we were that August. When that world is back at school and work, the sun returns from the distant places where it shone on the wealthy, when they wanted it, and on the poor and thirsty whether they wanted it or not. Once back in its rightful place it gets on with preparing to be mellow and fruitful which is what it does best and which it is doing, here, today. Apples are starting to be in the ascendant on the stalls, a bowl of which has led me to make this “golden apple tart” from Patricia Wells’ “Bistro Cooking”. The word golden, in the recipe title,  has nothing to do with the eponymous, yet inappropriately named apple. It has to do with the golden colour that the tart achieves from a rather longer cooking time than is usual.


The recipe demands that sugar, cream and egg yolks are poured on top the sliced apples and the whole then sprinkled with sugar just before being put into the oven and suggests a cooking time of 45 minutes in an oven at 190C, which I ignored and continued for a further 10 minutes and which did it no harm. Many cold and damp holiday makers  would have dreamed of achieving such a colour….until the end of the first week of rain when they would just have been happy not to contract pneumonia.


On reading the title of this recipe more carefully, I notice that the golden refers to the cream that is part of the recipe. Aside from the cream in the recipe, there is little question in my mind that a slice of warm apple tart will only benefit from a spoonful of additional and. if at all possible, golden cream.  The Vallee d’Auge in Calvados is not only renowned for its celebrated falling down water, but also for its extravagantly thick and jaundiced cream. This is not the sweet confection that I knew as thick double cream in a previous life, but an altogether more subtle example of the dairyman’s art ( I just can’t bring myself to write “dairy person” as I’m sure my readers will not be insistent that I spell out everything in order to appease the Goddess, oh all right, God of equality and that it doesn’t take too much perception to understand that gender has little to do with the making of cream, save for the gender of the producer of the milk).


Here’s the recipe from Patricia Wells’ “Bistro Cooking” which book is among my favourites

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, apples, Baking, Bistro, Calvados, Cookery Writers, Cooking, Cream, creme fraiche, Cuisine bourgeoise, desserts, Digital photography, Drinks, Eggs, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, Golden Apple Tart, Patricia Wells, Photography, photography course, Recipes, tart, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Cream…..

  1. I love the smell of fresh baked bread from a boulangerie, sadly something that is more and more impossible to find here in the USA. The pictures are beautiful as always and the description of the end of August and start of September perfect. But what, pray tell is “golden cream?”

  2. Conor Bofin says:

    Here, so often we get the manufactured ‘buttery baking’ smell pumped into shops to attract the unwary. The smell now makes me feel ill, somewhat in the same way the sweet / fat smell that wafts from McDonalds turns my gut.
    Lovely pie, I could stick my nose into that any time.

    • You and me, Conor. What always surprises me is that McDonald’s opened their first European places in France under the illusion that if the French liked it, all Europeans would like it too. They forgot to add in the statistic that a lot of people love eating crap and I doubt this will change….so they still made money and crap feeders are happy too…then they go home and watch X Factor:)

  3. Beautiful tart I love really I love the addition of custard. Just beautiful and perfect with apples coming out now.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    ROFL – I was thinking of you as I cycled to the farmers’ market today in the sunshine. The weather forecast this week is a big improvement on the last two or three, as everyone prepares to go back to work or school!
    That’s a beautiful tart 😉

  5. lulu says:

    Walls of corn and sunflowers….what a wonderful image. Oh, I like the tart as well.

  6. Probably not the healthiest way to consume fruit, but it sure sounds like it smells and tastes delicious.

  7. lovely, and inspiring! maybe oneday I will learn to make pastry and have lovely tarts!

  8. You make lovely tarts.

  9. Everything about your recipe is beautiful! I love making tarts and working with the crust, savory or sweet. Your story is engaging as well. Bake on!

  10. Misky says:

    I am inspired to bake tomorrow. xx


  11. I like the smell of bread and I like the smell of pie. We should be friends 🙂

  12. Bernadette says:

    Looks delicious, definitely one to try this week. Love all your posts, you certainly have a way with words!

  13. It always bothered me that golden apples were not really all-that-golden haha. But oh, this looks terrific with that dollop of cream.

  14. Oh my goodness…the 2nd close up photo…dreamy.

  15. What a gorgeous tart. May have to make that soon. I used to have that cookbook, but it’s disappeared in one of the many moves. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    That tart is a work of art, Roger. I can think of no better company for a car ride than the aroma of freshly baked bread. 🙂

  17. Karen says:

    The apples in our orchard will be ready to start being picked next week but I won’t have the wonderful cream that is available to you. I’ll just imagine how much better your tart was than the ones I will be preparing. 😀

  18. Michelle says:

    This looks divine and i will have to make it this Sunday (Father’s Day). Thanks for sharing.

  19. Beautiful imagery you conjure up and a stunning tart…can almost smell it 😉

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