The Contests

Winner's (and Loser's) Q&A

September 8, 2011 • 15 Comments

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Congratulations to Amanda, whose Peach Tart won the A&M Summer Smackdown! And Merrill may have lost, but she still gets a Q&A for being a good sport (read on below).

Amanda  Peach Tart

Winner's Q&A with Amanda

  • Merrill has won the past two A&M smackdowns. How does it feel to finally win?
  • Not sure how Merrill has handled this much glory, so often. 


  • Anyone or anything you'd like to thank for your victory?
  • I'd like to thank my mother, who lets me rip off her recipes. She is The Giving Tree of recipes.



  • What's the best thing you've cooked recently?
  • This tart. All downhill from here.


  • What do you hope the next smackdown will be?
  • Anything but Merrill's sweet spot: creme fraiche.


Merrill  Fresh Peach Tartlets

Loser's Q&A with Merrill

  • How does it feel to finally lose?
  • It feels terrible!

  • Anyone or anything you'd like to blame for your defeat?
  • I'd like to blame Amanda's mother for passing on such a darned good tart recipe. Even my own family turned on me when they tasted Amanda's tart.

  • In the interest of good sportsmanship: what is your all-time favorite recipe of Amanda's?
  • This peach tart may just be it! But her Chocolate Dump-It Cake is also not to be missed.

  • What is the best thing you've cooked recently?
  • Amanda's peach tart! Aside from that, I recently made the Genius Sticky Balsamic Ribs for the second time this month -- they're just amazing.


  • What do you hope the next smackdown will be?
  • Something involving lots of dairy products -- I'm good with those.


Jump to Comments (15)

Comments (15)


about 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I didn't make Merrill's entry this time, but Amanda's is a super-keeper. I've been ORDERED to make it again and again. And the crust alone is worth the money.


about 3 years ago nan8LT

My trial was terrible. Peaches weren't ripe enough so I tried to add sugar later and it got soupy and the crust was too thin and too salty....But I bought a pan, so I'll have to try again. But taking the skins off was easy. Next time I'll try just scoring them.


about 3 years ago Inko

Amanda's recipe was flexible. First I made the peach tart. Yum - easy and beautiful. Then I made another the next day using different fruit: a layer of one grated apple then a layer of blackberries on the top. I used substituted some of the sugar with brown sugar and added cinnamon to the topping. Pretty and tasty. Thanks for the recipe.


about 3 years ago rapearson

I enjoyed both tart and tartlet recipes. I managed to prepare and try them both in the nick of time for voting. A few days later, faced with a lot of leftover mascarpone, I made a hybrid tart using Merrill's topping and a tart shell that I think is the best of both worlds. It used almond flour from Merrill's recipe, but using Amanda's preparation method as well as the oil/extract. Yummm.


about 3 years ago bvrlybest

I made the peach tart and I didn't think it was that great. Maybe my peaches were too ripe and juicy (I paid $14.50 for 6 peaches at the SF FM so I was going to use them!) so the crust was on the soggy side. I put the 2 T of flour in but the juice still went over the side. It looked great though. I think I prefer a pie with a butter crust.


about 3 years ago cathyheck

I love everything about Food 52, even a smackdown Q&A! A little smile to start the day.


about 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

I'm giggling, love your Q&As, Amanda and Merrill!


about 3 years ago Tamio888

Merrill, baby... it looked good, but, you lost me at 'tartlets'. I went the other way....


about 3 years ago TiggyBee



about 3 years ago Panfusine

Congratulations Amanda.. (your recipe had my vote) Merrill, Haven't yet had a chance to see your previous smackdown winners, congratulations on a wonderful finalist recipe. (disclaimer: my vote is usually always for the egg free candidate in the dessert category!)


about 3 years ago Fairmount_market

Congratulations to Amanda, and I'm so glad that you included Merrill in the Q&A: a very gracious looser. I can't wait for the next smack down. How about dried beans?


about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.



about 3 years ago EmilyC

Congrats, Amanda! That Merrill is pretty stiff competition. And I don't know how I've gone this long without making that Applesauce Cake and Chocolate Dump-It Cake. I have a feeling I'm going to be baking a lot over the next few weeks.


about 3 years ago Bevi

Congrats Amanda! This is turning into quite the horse race now.


about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats, Amanda! It even seems Merrill thinks your win was well-deserved! Can't wait to see what the next smack-down will bring.