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Ina Garten swears by ‘delicious’ Trader Joe’s $7.99 apple tart for entertaining

Store-bought *really is* fine, according to the Barefoot Contessa.

Real legends practice what they preach, so when a culinary icon says “store-bought is fine,” she really means it.

On Dec. 8, Ina Garten graced Studio 1A with her presence, joining to co-host the 8 a.m. for a morning focused on holiday entertaining. During the hour, the Barefoot Contessa shared how she simplifies hosting this time of year, gave recommendations for engaging the five senses and simple ways to save time before guests come over.

“You were saying … you might go to the grocery store and buy some cookies and it’s all about the display,” said TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie to Garten about having guests over, especially during the holidays. “When you’re hosting, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen the whole time.”

“No,” replied Garten, agreeing with Savannah before making her enlightening admission. “The other day I had some friends over and I got an apple tart from Trader Joe’s. I put it in the oven — it was absolutely delicious.”

“By the way, Trader Joe’s stock just skyrocketed,” replied Savannah.

According to Trader Joe’s, the limited-time French Apple Tart offers a fancy-looking dessert at a price fit for the everyday eater: $7.99 for a 20-ounce dessert.

Trader Joe's French Apple Tart, an Ina Garten-favorite.
Trader Joe's French Apple Tart, an Ina Garten-favorite.Courtesy Trader Joe's

“Our French Apple Tart will have you saying, ‘More, s’il vous plaît!’” reads the description on Trader Joe’s website. The tart is described as a “masterpiece of a Tart,” taking buttery apricot, Granny Smith and Northern Spy apples to create a filling baked in a shortbread crust. The pie is then topped with a fan of “even more” sliced apples, finishing it with apricot glaze. “A thing of rustic beauty,” the description reads.

TJ’s French Apple Tart may be fit for a Contessa, to be sure, but according to the creative grocer, it’s worthy of a world leader as well.

“Now, you might raise an eyebrow when you notice that our French Apple Tart is made here in the U.S.A., but before you raise that other eyebrow, consider this: the Master Pastry Chef who developed this recipe once made this exact tart—which is constructed and baked according to French tradition—for the President of France himself,” reads TJ’s website. “Spoiler alert: he loved it.”

Although Garten has quite a few easy holiday appetizer recipes in her arsenal that folks can whip up with the time and energy to do so, this is far from the first time that she has touted the benefits of store-bought entertaining. She also stopped by Studio 1A in November to bestow her tips for hosting Thanksgiving without a side of stress using store-bought foods.

“At the end of the day, you want everybody to have something absolutely delicious to eat and it doesn’t mean that you have to spend the entire day in the kitchen making it,” Garten said during her appearance.