Belle Provence Travels

A South of France Blog

During the week, I sometimes get the opportunity to drive to the “countryside” to do a lesson for a client who prefers to work at home. As much as I enjoy teaching, I also enjoy the quiet time in the car… driving through the villages & taking in the changing landscape.
Driving the same village roads this past year, I’ve witnessed the colors change from winter, to spring, and now to fall. And while it’s hard to beat the vibrant wildflowers that crop up in the springtime, the changes to the hills, trees, and vineyards are pretty spectacular this time of year. Of course there’s the browns, yellows, and oranges… but the bright red leaves on the grapevines are what really caught my attention this week. Just beautiful.

And I’ve started to think in a “seasonal way” about cooking too.  Before moving to France, I never paid much attention to what was in season. Everything moved so much faster, food included, and now I find that people here are quite obsessed with what’s best to be cooked in which season. And please oh please don’t try to serve a French person something that’s out-of-season (ie. frozen… or a month overdue) because you’ll certainly hear about it… and fast.

Here is the first in a fall recipe series which I dug out from an ever-growing pile of food magazines. I baked this last night and served it with a light green salad (topped with a few carrot shavings) and some Chardonnay. It’s meant to be served as an entrée but I think we managed to turn it into a main dish… by eating two tartlettes each. And this may just be my new favorite tart… easy to make, just a hint of sweetness, and very, very cheesy. Enjoy!

Tartlette Poire-Camembert


1 roll of pastry dough (or make your own here)

2 firm pears

1 camembert

4 eggs

3/4  cup crème fraîche or sour cream

1 tablespoon of butter (salted)

salt & pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 350°  F.  Divide the pastry dough and shape it into 6 individual tart molds.  Poke the dough several times with a fork.  Cut the camembert in strips.

2.  Peel the pears and cut them into strips.  Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the pears for a 3-5 minutes.  Put aside.

3.  Beat the eggs and add the sour cream, pepper to taste.  Pour the mixture into the tart molds.

4.  Place the camembert in the molds, and top with a few pear strips.  Bake for 30 minutes and serve warm. recipe credit:  Vie Pratique Gourmand