Hi friends! So excited to be releasing a 4 part series over the next several weeks, highlighting some of my favorite food bloggers in the industry. Several months back, I traveled and had the honor of collaborating with these amazing ladies in their own kitchens, gathering an editorial story to showcase their incredible talents and their contribution to the food scene worldwide. The 1st of these interviews features the beautiful Renée Kemps, shot in her studio in Copenhagen Denmark. All food styling and recipe development is by Renée, and the interview, art direction and photography is by yours truly.
Renée is an interior, travel, lifestyle and food photographer, based in Amsterdam & London. I discovered her a couple years ago through the award she won for the Saveur Blog Award for editor’s choice for Best Photography. I immediately fell in love with her sense of style and incredibly gorgeous images. Then when I traveled overseas and landed in Denmark, I couldn’t help but reach out and see if she wanted to meet up and collaborate. She graciously said yes and it was just the loveliest time spent together.
In praise of everything beautiful – food, travel, lifestyle. – Renée Kemps
Perhaps this is why Renée is a sweet friend – we are like minded at heart in our love for food, travel and lifestyle. When we met in Copenhagen many months ago, we had such a short time together, my rushing in with only a bit of time to give before my flight out of the country, but that didn’t matter; we had the best time! We spent a mere 2 hours together and somehow managed to gather content for two full, beautiful recipes.
I shot this feature in her stunning apartment in Copenhagen where she was studying at the time. I hope you enjoy this interview and these two delicious recipes for granola bars with nuts, seeds and a dark chocolate dip with her own take on apple pie. Make sure to follow her blog here and her social posts here.
I love the play of shadows, everything concrete, dirty vegetables straight from the farm, sweet summer fruits, and apple picking in the fall. Long suppers with family, friends and strangers, traveling and discovering new places, bright, Nordic spaces for photography, and dark cosy homes with candles for cold winter nights.
What keeps you fueled to continue blogging and shooting?
A never ending interest and drive to meet new people through this, have long dinners with good conversations, try and discover new food/dishes, learn more both food and photography wise, and continue with working with something that makes me happy.
I am drawn to minimalism, to soft colors and aesthetics rather than practical purposes. I can’t get enough of the ocean – the sound, the salt water. I like biking through unknown cities and road trips with picnic baskets for spontaneous stops. It’s all the warm fuzzy feelings and excitement for the little things in life.
What is it about it that keeps you inspired and loving the journey of creativity?
The excitement to develop, try, meet and discover new things and people, the happiness of both success and failures through which we learn and grow, the smiles on faces when eating something delicious together. Being able to be part of it, document it, and share it with the people I love. That’s what it’s all about.
I grew up picking hundreds of apples in October. It was, and still is, my favorite month. It was all about autumn days, pretty colors, long walks, spending days on the land outside. We would make our traditional apple pie, my mama’s recipe, for these autumn weekends. Friends would come over and we would have picnics on plaids with warm apple pie straight from the oven. It was home.
Tell us about these granola bars!
These are our favorite study snacks. I live together with my little sister. We spend a lot of hours at our Universities, studying for tests or working on projects. It’s the highlight of our day, when we walk outside into the sun and take a seat on a little bench. We sit next to each other, both with a granola bar in our hand, soaking up that vitamin D, and chatting and laughing about everything and nothing.
A few recipe tips from Renée :
For the apple pie, keep it simple. It’s not an American apple pie. The dough is different – not flaky, but soft and buttery, the filling is simple – apples, cinnamon and a little lemon juice. The simplicity of this pie is the best part. The buttery, soft dough with the sweet apples with that hint of cinnamon.
You can find the recipe for the bars here on the blog, and trust me they’re everything you want for a snack. The nuts will give you energy, a bite, a crunchiness. They’re packed with good-for-you stuff and naturally sweetened. And they’re dipped in dark chocolate, which makes them even better. Note : Don’t go overboard with the psyllium husk. You think you need to add a lot, to make them hold together, but even the littlest amount works.
- 240 gr all purpose flour
- 150 gr soft, unsalted butter
- 80 gr light brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- seeds 1 vanilla pod
- 1 kg apples/ 5-6 big apples - combination of sweet & sour
- 2 tbs cinnamon
- 1/4 cup raisins, soaked overnight
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- optional, 2 tbs sugar (if you prefer your pie to be sweeter)
- 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- raw sugar, to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add yolk and vanilla seeds, and mix. Add flour, salt, mix until just combined. Divide in thirds, 2/3 together and 1/3 together, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool.
(Peel apples = optional) Cut, core and slice apples in thin slices. Mix with lemon juice, cinnamon, raisins, and cornstarch (and sugar). Set aside.
Butter a pie pan and press down 2/3rd of the dough, filling the whole pie pan, up to the sides.
Pour in the apple mixture, tap the pan and press the apples a little bit down to fill all the little gaps.
Using a little flour, roll out the 1/3rd into a circle, 1/2 cm thick.
Either place the whole circle on top, making a little cross indentation in the middle, or cut thick 'ribbons' and create a lattice top.
Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with a little raw sugar.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and the apples tender.
You can find the recipe for the bars here on the blog