Thursday, November 15, 2012

Brown Butter Apple Tart

The holidays are officially among us with Thanksgiving already being a week a way.  And while I know that often brings with it an added amount of craziness, stress, and longer lines at the stores, boo....I do welcome the season.  At least in the sense of the bright & cheery colors, sparkly lights, seasonal tunes (sorry but I love 'em,)  and hope that maybe people are being a little kinder to each other.  And the most important reason I love this time of year being the fact it really inspires me to get baking and try lots of new recipes.  So I have been doing a lot of that lately and now it's time to stop sitting on all these food pics in my phone and share them with you. : )

I couldn't resist trying the Brown Butter Apple Tart from the November issue of Bon Appetit.  Any dessert with brown butter or "beurre noisette" as it's referred to in classic French pastry recipes, is rich and delicious.  Browning the butter until it forms a deep golden color and these dark little specks adds a unique, warm, and somewhat nutty flavor.  This tart definitely has those characteristics .  I made it twice, both times trying a different crust than was included with the recipe.  A friend of mine made hers with the crust recipe listed in BA and I have to admit that crust was the better choice for this apple tart.  So I am listing below the recipe just how it appears in the magazine.  Maybe it will make it to your holiday table this year...

Brown Butter Apple Tart
Bon Appetit, November 2012

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten to blend
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Filling and assembly
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise*
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 firm, tart apples (such as Pink Lady or Braeburn), peeled, cored, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings
Whipped cream
Special Equipment
An 11-inch-diameter or 11x8x1-inch tart pan with removable bottom

*I used 1 tbsp of vanilla bean paste 

Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix butter, sugar, and salt until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add egg, cream, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.  Add flour all at once and beat until dough almost comes together. Turn dough out onto a work surface.  Divide dough in half; form each half into a smooth ball. Flatten into disks and wrap each disk tightly in plastic. Chill 1 disk overnight; freeze second disk for another use.
Roll out 1 chilled dough disk between two sheets of parchment paper, lifting and adjusting paper as needed, until 1/8-inch thick and 2-inch wider than tart pan. Transfer dough in parchment to a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
Remove top piece of parchment from dough. Invert dough into tart pan; press onto bottom and up sides. If dough is soft, chill until firm enough for remaining sheet of plastic to be removed. Trim edges of dough (patch up any holes or tears with extra dough). Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line dough with parchment paper or heavy-duty foil, leaving a 1-inch-2-inch overhang. Fill paper with dried beans or pie weights. Bake tart shell just until dough has dried and does not look wet in any spots, about 20 minutes. (If center still looks wet, bake crust without weights until dried and opaque, a few minutes longer.)
Filling and assembly
Whisk eggs and sugar in a medium bowl just to blend. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns (do not burn), about 5 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes; remove bean. Slowly whisk brown butter into egg mixture; whisk in flour and salt.
Line tart shell with apples. Pour filling over (if using rectangular pan, you may have 1/2 cup excess filling). Bake until apples are deep golden brown and filling is puffed, cracked, and set in center, 70-80 minutes.

Let the tart cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few hours.  Enjoy!



  1. I am in love with brown butter lately. This is a wonderful tart and I like the way you distributed the apple circles on top!

    1. Thanks Paula...Happy New Year to you. Brown butter makes everything delicious : )