Grace Elkus Grace Elkus
December 13, 2014

Today’s #BakeItForward celebrity supporter is Gail Simmons. Gail is a culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. She has been a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning “Top Chef" since its 2006 inception. In addition to her role as a head critic on BRAVO’s “Top Chef Duels” and co-host of FYI’s “The Feed,” Gail is Food & Wine’s Special Projects Director and author of Talking with My Mouth Full.

This holiday season, Gail put a seasonal spin of her mom's delicious fruit tart, which is traditionally made with plums in late summer. When fall rolls around and Gail gets the itch to bake, she said she adapts the recipe for whatever is in season.

"I love baking this tart, which is actually more of a soft cake base with thin slices of fruit on top, straight through the winter, adjusting the fruit to whatever is in season—apples and pears both work well!" she said. "As it bakes, it fills the house with the sweet smells of vanilla and cinnamon, which always reminds me of home."

When Gail hosted a dinner party for eight of her closest friends, she chose to bake a pear version of the tart for dessert.

"I wanted to make something cozy and simple to end the meal, that I knew would be a hit, and I could do in advance," she said. "I served it with ginger ice cream and everyone went home full and happy.”

In addition to sharing a slice with her friends, Gail is also baking it forward for City Harvest, an organization dedicated to ending hunger in New York City.

Inspired? Whip up a dish that reminds you of home like Gail did and bake a second batch of treats for a local charity or someone who means something to you. Deliver the treats and show them how much you appreciate them. Snap a photo and tag it #BakeItForward.

Check back tomorrow to see who else is joining us to #BakeItForward.

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