Monday, August 3, 2009

Brown Butter Tarts for Summer

This is probably my favorite summertime dessert. I once worked for a pastry chef who never wanted a birthday cake (when you train under a pastry chef you usually get to make their birthday cake) - she wanted birthday PIE. I do not so much make pie - I cannot for the life of me remember what I made for her. I prefer the thinner dessert, the ever-elegant tart.

The one shown here was made peaches. I also love it with nectarines, raspberries, or blueberries. One year for the Fourth I made a raspberry one and a blueberry one and a lemon meringue for a patriotic red, white and blue kind of thing.

Critical to the dessert is the correct browning, and not burning, your butter. But it's not hard to do right - just keep close to the pan and follow the recipe.

Brown Butter Berry Tart
Print recipe only here

Makes two 8 1/2 -inch tarts

Two 8 1/2 -inch tart shells, blind baked
3 peaches or nectarines, or 2-3 cups fresh raspberries or blueberries PER TART (you'll need six peaches for two tarts).


4 eggs
12 oz sugar (1 1/2 cups plus 1 T)
2 oz sifted flour (scant half cup)
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted brown butter (see METHOD below)
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Whisk sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl. Add flour and whisk until smooth.

Make brown butter:
In a stainless steel saucepan (or one with a light-colored bottom), add 2 sticks unsalted butter and scraped vanilla bean. Melt the butter over low-medium heat. Once melted, turn up heat to medium and continue to cook until it turns a deep nutty brown, about 8 minutes. Carefully remove vanilla bean and slowly whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture. Use some caution here - the mixture will bubble up substantially when you add the hot butter. Strain the mixture and reserve.

Arrange berries, peach or nectarine slices in bottom of cooled crust. If using berries, just scatter a handful (you will top the baked tart with fresh berries after it has baked and cooled). If using peaches or nectarines, slice about 3 large pieces of fruit per tart and arrange slices neatly on the baked crust.

Pour half the brown butter mixture evenly over the fruit. Place tart on rimmed baking sheet and bake until filling is puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Cool tart for 15-20 minutes, then remove tart pan sides. Once cooled, you can dust it with a shake or two of powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature or warmed. If using berries, let the tart cool, then paint the top of with raspberry jam and top with fresh berries.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Store covered at room temperature.


Jen G said...

This looks amazing. I am going to a bbq on Saturday and am supposed to bring dessert. I will attempt this. Thanks!

Katie Fairbank said...

oh, hope you liked it! tarts are so great at altitude - none of the cake problems present themselves.