The Trader Joe's Dessert That Ina Garten Passes off as Homemade for the Holidays

If store-bought is fine for Ina, then it's good enough for us!

Ina Garten wearing a purple scarf in her kitchen
Photo: Allrecipes Illustration / Photo courtesy of Ina Garten

We're not really sure when using store-bought shortcuts became taboo, but nowadays it seems like everyone wants from-scratch everything. And, let's just be real here, sometimes that's not feasible.

No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen during their holiday party or family get-together. But that's the reality that a lot of us face when we're making loads of different dishes. Have you ever noticed that all parties seem to end up in the kitchen? Most of the time, that's because the host is bopping between the oven, fridge, and bar so often that they can't mingle anywhere else.

We've all been there, including Ina Garten, which is why she cheats a little at her parties. Yes, the Barefoot Contessa host recently shared on the TODAY show that she cuts a few corners with party prep and uses a store-bought dessert.

"The other day I had some friends over [and] I got an apple tart from Trader Joe's," Garten said. "I put it in the oven, it was absolutely delicious. I served it with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce that I warmed up from a jar."

There are two exciting things about this revelation. First, if store-bought desserts are good enough for one of our favorite cooks, then they're certainly good enough for us. Second, we're stoked to hear that Ina Garten loves TJ's as much as we do.

The tart that Garten used (and thus, we will be using from now on) is Trader Joe's French Apple Tart. It's labeled as a limited product on TJ's site, which likely means it's only around for a little while longer.

The French Apple Tart has a shortbread crust complete with an apricot and apple filling (made with Northern Spy and Granny Smith apples), a sliced apple topping, and apricot glaze. It certainly looks homemade, and once you warm it in the oven and throw out any TJ's box and evidence, you could easily pass it off as homemade.

This apple tart only costs $7.99 at Trader Joe's, and now that Garten has given her stamp of approval, we're sure it's going to fly off the shelves ahead of the upcoming holiday. We know we'll be adding it to our cart, so you might want to get there before us!

But, if you can't make it to TJ's before the tart is gone, you can always make one of these other Ina-loved holiday recipes. They'll be just as big a hit around your holiday table.

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