This Is the Trader Joe’s Holiday Bakery Find that Ina Garten Swears By

published Dec 12, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Talaya Centeno/Penske Media/REX/Shutterstock; Design: Apartment Therapy

With the holidays fast approaching, you may be trying to figure out how to be a great host without becoming overwhelmed with all the responsibilities. And while that may seem like a truly daunting task, in true Ina Garten fashion, she’s here to make things much easier.

During a recent appearance on Today, Ina shared a few tips for holiday hosting — including the suggestion of engaging your guests’ senses by decorating your home, filling it with great music and textures, and adding great food and smells to the mix. And according to the Barefoot Contessa, that’s exactly where the Trader Joe’s French Apple Tart comes in.

Ina told the Today hosts that she sometimes prepares for company by popping the pre-made dessert in the oven just to allow its warm, winter spice aroma to spread throughout her house. While she added that “hosting is all about the people [and] not the food,” this French Apple Tart covers both bases by creating a cozy and inviting space for your guests, while also tantalizing their taste buds.

According to the Trader Joe’s website, the U.S.-made tart’s recipe was developed by a master pastry chef who once prepared this exact same dessert for the president of France. The fruity treat starts with a shortbread crust filled with a “buttery apricot and apple” concoction that balances the tartness of Granny Smith apples with the sweetness of the Northern Spy variety.

The filling is then topped with apple slices — giving it a rustic, homemade look — and finished with an apricot glaze. Once warmed, the French Apple Tart can be paired with ice cream or a caramel drizzle that will make for a nostalgic, comforting finish to your holiday meal. Or, for those looking to enjoy it before the actual holiday, it could also serve as just a great snack to go along with your coffee or spiced cider.

While its dual functionality is very much worth talking about, perhaps the best part about this sweet TJ’s find that Ina adores is the price. Anyone looking to give the limited-time offering tart a try can expect to spend $7.99 per 20-ounce baked good and get four servings out of it.

If Trader Joe’s French Apple Tart isn’t quite what you pictured for the holidays, Ina’s tip can work with any pre-made dessert that lends itself well to warming. Or even with candles for the illusion of baking. Ultimately, the idea is not to allow the task of filling your home with warmth to become an additional burden this holiday season.