Apple Tart: A Love Story

Apple Tart: A Love Story

Love inspires us to do great things. It motivates us to summon up all our strength and creativity to make the world a better place and to make the lives of the ones we love more fulfilling.

I recently learned of the love story of Sam Farber and his wife Betsey, which inspired me to write this blog post and to make an apple tart for my apple-loving husband. 

Apple Tart

Shortly after retiring from his job as an entrepreneur in the housewares industry, Sam was cooking with Betsey in their rented home in the South of France. As she peeled apples for a tart, he noticed how much pain the unwieldy ordinary peeler was causing her slightly arthritic hands. The more they cooked, the more inadequate all the kitchen tools felt and he began to question why many were often so uncomfortable to use. This inspired him to make a difference for her and, in 1989, he ended his retirement to launch OXO.

OXO is a company that designs products that can be comfortably used by almost everyone due to their thoughtful design and their signature ergonomic rubber handles. As their website states, they design for “young and old, female and male, lefties and righties, and many with special needs”. Sam called the company OXO (pronounced “Ox-Oh”) for it’s visual symmetry since it reads the same backwards, vertical and upside down. I like to think it means “hugs & kisses” since the company has such a nurturing beginning.

OXO Peeler

The peeler he designed then is the same peeler sold today and is the first OXO tool I ever bought. Its perfectly cushioned rubber body, along with its stainless steel blade, makes peeling vegetables and fruits incredibly easy. It’s no surprise that it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools and that I’ve stocked my parents’ and most of our friends’ homes with at least one.

Sam sadly passed away last June, leaving behind not only a commendable legacy of comfortable cooking tools but also a love story to remember that has benefited all of us OXO fans in one way or another.

Apple Tart with Ice Cream

His story was so moving that I couldn’t help but want to make my husband’s world a little better. Having started his own company, Tarah has been swamped with work and hasn’t been able to go home to Vermont. He’s been craving a visit to the local orchards where we often go apple picking. I wanted to bring a part of his home to him and, as an homage to Sam & Betsey’s story, I baked him this simple and crispy apple tart.

I used store bought puff pastry sheets since I’m still learning how to make my own crust. I topped the tart with pecans and served it with vanilla ice-cream and a side of Vermont maple syrup, for added sweetness.

oxo (hugs & kisses)
~ Anjali

Sam and Betsey Farber, OXO founders

Sam and Betsey Farber
Photographer: Dan Wilby

NOTE: This post is not sponsored by OXO. My opinions are my own and I have not been compensated to write this story. I did, however, reach out to OXO for the photograph of Sam & Betsey, which they graciously sent me.

A printable list of ingredients and directions are at the end of this post,
along with an image of this Perfect Morsel.

Puff Pastry Sheets

Preheat oven to 415F. Thaw the pastry sheet if previously frozen. Gently unfold the pastry sheet and cut it in half. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in fridge for a few minutes.

Peeled Apples

Peel the apples and and cut in half.

Apple Core with Knife

Remove each apple core. Since I don’t have an apple corer, I carefully cut out the apple core using a sharp knife, making sure not to cut through the apple.

Apple Slice with Sugar

Thinly slice the apples and place them in a big bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice all over the apples. Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt to the bowl and gently stir. Allow the apple slices to sit for about 5 minutes to get a little juicy and syrupy.

Pierced puff Pastry Sheets

Remove pastry sheets from fridge. Poke them all over with a fork. This allows for even puffing when baking the pastry sheet.

Assembling Apple Tart

Place the apple slices, one by one, overlapping each other in one straight line on each pastry sheet half. Sprinkle the apple slices with the chopped pecans and small slices of butter.

Baked Apple Tart

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the tarts for 18 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the tarts since the sugar in the apples will make the tarts release a good amount of syrup.

Perfect Morsel: Apple Tart

Serve as is or with a side of vanilla ice-cream and maple syrup for added sweetness. Here’s a bite of the crispy, flaky puff pastry with layers of juicy apples and a piece of pecan. YUM!



  1. Betsey W Farber says

    Thank you for sharing our story. Sam was special and also a delicious tart maker like you. Of course I have a kitchen full of OXO tools now, both old and new. They are an ongoing gift.
    Happy Valentines Day to you and Tarah!

    • says

      Betsey, Seeing your comment made my day. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this. I’m glad that you liked it. Your story is so lovely. I only wish there were more such stories in this world.

  2. Neena says

    An absolutely beautiful remembrance and tribute to Sam and Betsy.brought a lump to my throat.Bless your heart and the special guy in your life.When a chef cooks with love the dish is a memory to savour.
    Well done Anji.Each time your dish certainly tells a story and exceeds expectations
    Love you lots.

  3. Moni Malhotra says

    Yet another example of my dear daughter’s greatness, greatness personified by her deep perception and sensivity for the most powerful emotion in our lives, LOVE, which she has defined so beautifully! Anjali, you know how proud we are of you, and how much we love you. You moved me emotionally. You will have tp preapre the apple tart for me soon.
    God bless you, my dear. Keep up the good work and spread happiness all around you. Dad

  4. Susan R Murray says

    Anjali, what a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day! I absolutely LOVE all of my OXO, and I hope someone gave you an apple corer for your valentine. Mine is wonderful and far better than any of the more expensive ones it replaced.

  5. Shirley says

    A melon baller works great to remove cores from apples & pears. But using the knife may be better if you have problem hands unless you have one made especially for them. I am sure going to copy recipe. Sounds yummy

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