Thursday, October 4, 2012

A workshop in food photography with Béatrice Peltre and a simple apple tart recipe

Lately Food Photography and Food Styling is so in vogue. 
No wonder! We eat first with our eyes. When a plate looks appealing we want to try it. To me smell comes first of course. A plate has to smell good to make me salivate and want to dig in. Nevertheless I do agree that when creating a food blog, good great photography is a must. You wouldn't buy a cookbook with dark and unstylish pictures! So no wonder lately there has been a food photography craze. I have to agree. It is quite contagious. Especially for those who want to have a food blog that will stand out on the web.


At first it seems real easy to have the perfect food picture. Especially for somebody with some photography knowledge. It is tricky though and you need to learn the tricks of the trade. So 2 weeks ago I took Béatrice Peltre's (from the blog http://www.latartinegourmande.com) food styling and photography workshop organized by Mayssam (from the blog http://willtravelforfood.com).


We are so lucky to finally have styling and food photography classes given 
in Montreal. I spent seven exciting hours with Béa and a group of creative bloggers learning her techniques and her vision. Her award winning food blog "la tartine gourmande" have inspired me years ago to start my blog. 
I admire her style and how she captures simple dishes and makes them look breathtaking. Her new book "Recipes for an Inspired Life" is a must have!

A tripod with an extended arm helps you get clear pictures from above. 
The class was given at the FoodLab at Society of Arts and Technology (SAT) in Montreal http://www.sat.qc.ca and we each brought some props (fabrics, dishes, silverware, etc.) to experiment with. The food lab provided the food for our lunch and for the photography/styling. It felt like being in a candy store.


I learned so much and am excited to share with you via my blog some of my food photography and styling tricks. I am self taught mainly but I believe that through trial and error you end up learning a lot.


For learning more about food photography and food styling I highly recommend Helene Dujardin book (from the blog Tartellete): Plate to Pixel. Another book that is recommended by many blogger and that I am planning on purchasing soon is : Focus On Food Photography for Bloggers by Matt Armendariz. Finally for some styling ideas, Food Presentation Secrets: Styling Techniques of Professionals by Cara Hobday and Jo Denbury, is a good book to get inspired from and learn how the pros do it.


Recipe: Simple Thin Crust Apple Tart with Lavender Honey
Makes about 10- 12 thin crust tarts

 Pie dough:
(you can use a good ready made crust from your local baker if you want)
 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
8 oz butter, cold and cut into cubes
½ cup ice water

Topping:
2 small apples very thinly sliced with a mandoline
10 tsp butter
Some raw sugar to drizzle over tarts
2 tbsp Lavender Honey
1 tbsp Lavender Pods (optional)

 Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple of times to incorporate all ingredients. Add the cubed and cold butter. Pulse about 10 to 12 times until butter and flour mixture is crumbly. Add the ice water while machine is running until dough comes together. Do not overwork it. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and flatten it into a disk. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours (dough can be freezed at this point for a later use).

Preheat your oven to 300 F. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and if it's too hard to roll, let it come to room temperature for about 10 minutes. Roll to 1/8" thick. Cut circles with tart rings. Layer your apple slices to form a nice design. Add some butter on top each tart and drizzle some raw sugar on each. Place your tarts on a sheet pan lined with parchment or slipat and bake for 10-12 min (on the  middle rack). Watch your oven so your tarts won't overcook or burn. Each oven is different. They are ready when the edges have a nice caramel color. Transfer tarts to a wire rack and drizzle some lavender honey on top of each. Let cool and serve with some lavender pods. Bonne Apetit.

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Inside joke: Catou, my 5 year old just asked me. Mami, what are you doing on your computer.  I am writing a post on my blog sweetie, I answered. With big eyes she looked at me and said: Mami, what is a blob and what does it do? Moral of the story... I needed a good laugh. Hope I brought a smile to your lips. 

2 comments:

  1. What an elegant tart! I love the lavender honey. So lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you. It is so easy to make and delicious.

    ReplyDelete

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