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50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #33 Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton - Jam Tart

the "Gourmet" prompt...
33. Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton- Food royalty. Hirsheimer (yes, she’s a she) co-founded Saveur and shot all its food; Hamilton ran Saveur’s test kitchen, and is sister to Gabrielle, of restaurant Prune and memoir Blood, Bones & Butter fame. Now they run Canal House, the indie food magazine and book imprint.

I didn't know their names, but I'm more than familiar with their work.  Saveur has always been my favorite food magazine.  I carry it along with me when I drive to visit friends and family.  I've been known to convince people to get a subscription by pouring through the articles and the recipes and then cooking something up with them.  But through all that, I still didn't recognize the name Christopher Hirsheimer as being one of the founders and executive editor.  Or Melissa Hamilton who ran Saveur's test kitchen and was the food editor.

Hirsheimer also served as the food and design editor for Metropolitan Home magazine.  She's a writer and a photographer.  Hamilton also served as the exective chef at Hamilton's Grill Room (Lambertville, NJ) which she co-founded.
Together they joined forces, giving up life in New York and opting for a "simpler existence" to form Canal House Cooking.  The Canal House series celebrates fresh ingredients and features recipes for cooks at any experience level.  Christopher photographs the food for the book, as well...and I see that Melissa does the illustrations.

Canal House Cooking volume 7 is subtitled La Dolce Vita and features food from Italy.  Though they'd both been to Italy before, "they decided to rent a rustic old farmhouse in Tuscany with a long table for dinners outside, a grape arbor, apple and fig trees, and a spare kitchen with a classic waist-high fireplace with a grill".  Sounds like my idea of heaven.  This tart is slightly adapted from this book.
Jam Tart

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert pie

Ingredients (1 - 9" tart)
    for the pastry:
    • 2 c. flour
    • ¼ c. superfine sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 8 Tbs. cold butter, diced
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 Tbs. Bison Grass Vodka (or white wine)
    for the tart:
    • ~¾ c. fruit jam (any flavorful, good quality)
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a little water
    for the pastry:
    Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it in with a pastry blender or your finger tips until mixture resembles wet sand. Lightly beat the egg and yolk together. Add the eggs and wine (or vodka) to the dough until it just holds together. Be careful not to overwork or dough will be tough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    making the tart:
    Preheat oven to 375° F.

    Roll out two-thirds of the dough on a lightly floured surface to an ⅛-inch thickness. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin, and lay across a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Cut off the excess. Prick the pastry bottom all over with a fork. Spread jam over bottom of tart.

    Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into ¼-inch wide strips. Lightly twist and lay the strips in a diagonal lattice on top of the jam. Trim the strips to just inside the tart shell, then gently press the outside edge of the crust down over the ends of the strips. Brush pastry with egg wash.

    Bake until golden, ~25-30 minutes. Remove the warm tart from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack.
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    *this recipe was slightly adapted from Canal House Cooking Volume N°. 7: La Dolce Vita
    *source: Andrews McMeel Publishing
    In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
    Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?
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