The Simple 'Tart' Jacques Pepin Constantly Serves At Parties

One of the original celebrity chefs, Jacques Pepin has inspired both celebrity chefs and home cooks who grew up watching his PBS cooking shows. With a genuine warmth and gentle nature, he makes you believe that you CAN be a success in the kitchen – all you need is some time, simple ingredients, and the right technique.

When it comes to his sweets — and most things for that matter — the French-born Pepin believes in simplicity. He spent 70 years mastering the culinary arts and wrote more than 30 books on life, food, and craft. He was the chef for three prime ministers in his home country before moving to the United States. During a segment on CBS Mornings, reporter Jeff Glor said Pepin might be "the most famous chef alive."

That simplicity extends to a dessert that Pepin is famous for – a simple tart, according to Food & Wine. Pepin's rustic version is the culinary equivalent of the interior design world's shabby chic — a farmhouse recipe with a French name, and trend-worthy appeal. As one reader put it, "This pastry is to die for, not kidding in the least. We've made this recipe three times in the last four weeks, each time is terrific and GONE, quickly eaten." But is Pepin's dessert actually a tart or a pie?

No pan? No plate? No problem

If a tart and a pie had an affair in a French bakery, the result would be a galette. "This apple galette is a favorite at our house," Pepin told CBS Mornings. He adds chopped apples to the rolled-out pastry dough, drizzles honey, then arranges apple wedges in an attractive pattern, before closing the ends of the dough around the filling and baking

Galette is a Norman word meaning 'flat cake,' according to Great British Chefs. Although you wouldn't really call it a cake either. Pies, tarts and galettes differ in their origin — Americana versus French; crust — double crusted and flaky versus sweet and crumbly; coating – unlike galettes, tarts do not get an egg wash or sugar coating; and shape — unlike a traditional round pie, tarts and galettes can take any shape.

For a flavorful variation, New York Times food writer Melissa Clark spreads a thin layer of jam over the raw dough before adding the fruit. No pie pan on hand? Use a cookie sheet. Pepin, with his elegant ease, doesn't stand on ceremony when it comes to baking or serving this dessert, which can be cut into flat slices and picked up like a piece of pizza, according to Food & Wine. There's nothing like watching the master at work.