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The Art of the Tart: Savory and Sweet Hardcover – March 6, 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (March 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375504923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375504921
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tamasin Day-Lewis writes so beautifully, so eloquently, and so descriptively that it's almost impossible to choose which of her exceptional, delectable tarts to begin with. Her tone is warm, friendly, and generous, and her attitude towards food and cooking will make you nod and smile and want to read this cookbook aloud to anyone who'll listen. She laments that the "current speed-addicted climate" has pushed so many of us to give up cooking from scratch. We have been convinced to make questionably nutritious fast food instead of relishing the relaxation, pleasure, enjoyment of not just preparing good food, but of eating it in the way it is meant to be eaten--by savoring it slowly.

Early childhood memories of standing on a kitchen chair, cuffs covered with flour, making her first tarts, and then impatiently biting into a hot jam tart and the sweetly searing pain that results inspired Day-Lewis to write this book. Tarts, she argues, are superior fast food. With practice, the dough can be made quickly and in batches large enough that there's no need to make the dough every time. Fillings can be as simple as the onions, eggs and cream necessary for the Onion Tart. And longer recipes are just longer, not any more complicated or difficult to follow. "Anyone reading this book," says Day-Lewis, "should not doubt his or her ability to achieve every one of the recipes." She assumes "basic skills and competence," and a bit of curiosity. Many of these recipes are remakes of old favorites, but because Day-Lewis is writing in the U.K. and Ireland, most of those old favorites are brand new in America. The Leek, Potato, and Oatmeal Tart is a substantial cold-weather dish made with oatmeal crust filled with garlic, leeks, potatoes, and cheddar. Treacle Tart is "gloopy, gooky, toothachingly sweet," best served with "a solid spoonful of clotted cream slipping deliquescent from the slice, turning buttery at the edges as it slides." How can anyone read that and not start checking the kitchen for ingredients?

Divided by the chapters "Savory Tarts," "Sweet Tarts," and "Other People's Tarts" (try Nigel Slater's Broccoli, Blue Cheese, and Crème Fraiche Tart and Richard Corrigan's Banana Tart), the book is sprinkled with vibrant color photographs of lusciousness such as the Peach, Vanilla, and Amaretti Tarte Tatin ("amber-hued ... speckled with vanilla and sticky with caramel") and the bright yellow Corn and Scallion Tart with a Polenta Crust. Day-Lewis is inventive, as is evident with recipes such as Monkfish Tart with Bearnaise, Tomato, Goat's Camembert, and Herb Tart; Rhubarb, Honey, and Saffron Tart; and Brûléed Black Currant or Blueberry Tart. If your taste buds (or those of your audience) are less adventurous, you can start with Asparagus Tart, Potato, Garlic, and Parsley Torte, or Quiche Lorraine. And no one will ever turn down a "state-of-the-art" Lemon Tart, a Strawberry Tart ("voluptuous ... and glazed to gloopy perfection"), or Simon Hopkinson's Chocolate Tart ("If there is a heaven, this is it," says Day-Lewis). Whatever your time frame, your kitchen comfort level, or your palate, Day-Lewis will leave you with your cuffs in flour, composing a thank-you note in your head to this most delightful author. --Leora Y. Bloom

From Publishers Weekly

Tarts, when done well, are gorgeous creationsDtheir fillings displayed in buttery crust like jewels shown on velvet. Day-Lewis (The English Woman's Kitchen; West of Ireland Summers: A Cookbook) does not disappoint; in addition to delectable recipes and luxurious photos, her prose itself is exquisite. Even the most jaded palate might be tempted with her description of the much-maligned Quiche Lorraine "with a buttery pastry and an unctuously creamy, bacony, barely wobbling interior." These tarts are rich (lots of butter, cream and eggs), simple and wholesome, prepared in straightforward ways with uncomplicated steps. As Day-Lewis explains, they are not "state-of-the-art, designer-dream, fashionable" fare (even if she tells us that Julia Roberts loves the Treacle Tart), but rather "foods to console and please on the highest order." The favorite tarts of well-known chefs appear regularly throughout the pages, tweaked and appropriately credited. Classics such as Onion Tart, Plain Apple Tart and that English favorite, Bakewell Tart, coexist with more flamboyant fare, such as Fennel, Taleggio and Cardamom Tart, Mjuk Mandeltarta (soft almond tart) and a "beauteous, sluttish, fall of the Roman Empire" Roast Fig and Honey Tart with Cointreau. With quiet sophistication, Day-Lewis presents a beautiful and useful book to savor on many levels.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

The recipes are tasty and easy to follow.
Patsy L. Baker
If your cookbook collecting leans toward those that look good and read well, then these books are for you.
B. Marold
Or maybe the blue cheese with red onion marmalade....Yummmmm!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Musher on August 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Seven years ago, I had an onion tart in New York that was so good I've been trying to replicate it ever since. I bought the book based on its beautiful graphics and what looked like easy-to-follow recipes, including one for an onion tart.
I invited friends over a couple of weeks ago and made the onion tart for the first time. The custard came out voluminous; I used about half of what the recipe called for. Otherwise, it was absolutely delicious. I've started making other recipes and they're turning out just as well.
The really impressive thing, though, was the selection of dough recipes in the back. I'm not a baker and the first time I made dough according to her directions it turned out flaky and delicious! She has a rare talent for explaining baking. And, to boot, it didn't take very long or require expensive or hard-to-find ingredients.
I recommend the book whole-heartedly, but please experiment with the ingredients and quantities.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on September 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In this day of working away from home, shopping after work and fixing a meal on the run, THE ART OF THE TART is a gift. I discovered this book in the Washington Post Food section, which seems to be dedicated to folks like me who don't want to restort to scambled eggs, oatmeal, or fast food night after night. How wonderful to discover there are elegant dishes one can fix relatively quickly, and in most cases healthier than the fast food fix.
Day-Lewis is apparently well established in England as a food expert and has written articles for Conde-Nast and House and Garden. If you missed her in these other forms, this is a good place to start. Some of her tarts are meals, such as the 'Porcini Mushroom and Red Onion' tart or the 'Scallop, Artichoke, and Smoked Bacon' tart. Other tarts are for dessert, such as 'A Tatin of Apricots Stuffed with Almond Paste' or 'Apple Crumble Tart.' Not all tarts come in the same wrapper. While some tarts have a traditional flaky crust, others have a crust of polenta such as the 'Corn and Scallion Tart' or 'George Morley's Leek Tart' which has a cheese pastry crust. Some of the recipes Day-Lewis includes are her own, such as the 'Spinach and Anchovy' tart or the 'Asparagus' tart, and others are from friends.
There are plenty of plain tarts, and tarts with too much cholesterol, but there is a tart for everyone. According to the Washington Post, Ms Day-Lewis is the sister of Daniel. Such a talented family.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after barely looking at it because I was captivated by the picture of the camembert and tomato tart. Well, I ended with and extraordinary book on both sweet and savory tarts!! I've tried the corn and scallion, the quiche lorraine (the best ever), the quince tart and the camembert and tomato and they're all so good!! It's definitely one of my favorite books now. Worth every cent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book a few weeks ago becuause I've always wanted to learn how to make tarts - they seem like a perfect light dinner alternative. Unsure of what I would be getting, I'm absolutely thrilled with The Art of the Tart. The author's instructions are easy to follow, even for beginners (I had never made pastry before). She makes the subject completely accessible. I made the Swiss Chard, Gruyere and Creme Fraiche Tart on my first try and it was excellent. The recipes all sound absolutely delicious and I can't wait to try more. I highly recommend this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matiqua on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My family and I enjoy eating quiches and tarts very much. We love the creamy filling and the comforting warmth, especially when encased in a light, crunchy, delicate pastry case. They are so easy and practical, as you can make them ahead and reheat them.
I usually made them using ready-made pastry, because my attempts at making my own were always a bit laboursome, it was always a bit difficult to roll the pastry and not to tear it, and somehow it was always a bit undercooked (maybe that was due to the fact that I used rice instead of baking beans, but now I have bought them). Those times are over! Now I can make perfect, crisp and tender pastry, and the best part is that it rolls in a breeze! I don't know what was wrong with my method, but now that I have this recipe I don't even think of buying ready-made pastry anymore.
The recipes for the different fillings are wonderful, too. We have found great quiches that we love to have for dinner, like Spinach and Anchovy Tart ( we make it with yougurt instead of cream and it is delicious!). Or the different ones with fish, or Onion Tart,or the Flamiche, mmm...yummy!
The sweet ones are very good too. I made the Chocolate Pecan Pie for a dinner party and it got raves. I love the Lemon Tart and I could go on like this...
Well, the recipes are very rich, but I find that you can easily substitute lighter ingredients (like yoghurt for cream) with consistent results. At least, I often do it...
The book is heavy weight paperback, not very thick, just 144 pages. It has the picture of a tomato tartlet on the front with a silver band for the title and author. The recipes are laid out well: an introduction on how it was created, or anecdotes about the recipe; the ingredients on one side and the instructions on the other.
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