Thursday, January 19, 2012

Apple Brown Butter Tart

I'm just going to come out and say this-- I loved this tart. I didn't plan to, but it just happened.  I've written, several times, on this blog that I'm not the biggest fan of pie crust.  My favorite pie is pumpkin pie.  Apple pie doesn't really rock my world.

But, Anne Burrell changed my opinion.  I am quite sure it was the same Food Network show that inspired me to make Cornish Game Hen with Pomegranate Molasses, that also featured this recipe.  I was inspired to make this recipe because I liked the idea of making a brown butter filling, with layers of apples that are sauteed in butter, a little sugar and brandy!  While I'm not a huge fan of pie crust, there's something about a tart that I much prefer-- especially a tart with an all-butter crust. I made the dough a few days ahead of time.  Yes, you can use store-bought, but I can promise you that it won't taste anyway near as good as this recipe. I wouldn't lie about this.

I used a 9" tart pan and rolled it out pretty thin, because I needed to have a lot of overhang. You'll see why, in a moment.  Brown butter takes on a lovely nutty flavor.  My suggestion is to use a pot that isn't dark, so you can better see when the butter goes from yellow... golden.  It takes about 7 minutes to get to that stage, and you have to take the butter off heat pretty quickly-- otherwise, the butter can burn and then you have to start all over. This is the trickiest part of the whole recipe. The rest is easier.  Next, you pour the brown butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or, you can use a hand-mixer).  Add all-purpose flour, eggs and vanilla bean.  In my case, I use vanilla bean paste.

Pour the filling into the tart pan.   I found it interesting that the original recipe says to use 2/3 of the filling, and to save the rest for another tart.  I used almost all of it, with maybe 1/2 cup leftover.

I used five apples, instead of six.  I used a combination of Jonagolds and Granny Smith.  If you have an apple, corer, slicer then it's fast and easy to do. You want the apple slices to be fairly thin.  In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoon sugar.

Cook the apples until just tender.  I'm adding one of my favorite products (purchased at King Arthur Flour) of boiled apple cider).   I don't drink brandy, but I buy those small "airline size" bottles of liquor for times when I need it.  You can learn out the brandy, of course.  I poured 1/4 cup, tilted the skillet and lit it up!   I didn't photograph the flames, but they were there.  If you're too scared to do that, the alcohol will burn out on it's own.  Last, I added some golden raisins, gave everything a toss...

Using a slotted spoon (there was liquid in the skillet, and I didn't want to dilute the filling underneath), I spread all of the apple filling.  Then, I gently folded over the overhang of the pastry.  I brushed the dough with an egg wash and then sprinkled some sanding sugar. Set it on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


My only disappointment was that the tart got stuck in the pan.  I prepped the pan well, but I didn't get the pretty ridges that most tart pans product.  Small details, though.

After 30 minutes of waiting for the tart to cool, I realized I was starting to lose natural lighting.  I can't think of a better excuse for digging in.

TASTING NOTES:  First, the pastry crust-- buttery, tender, flaky.  I'm a very happy baker. The filling-- I can taste the subtle kick of the brandy (whoopee).  The apples aren't super sweet, and the filling is very subtle.  I taste butter, apple, sweet, slightly tart and just genuine deliciousness.   My son exclaimed this to be a five star dessert.  I had plans to make fresh whipped cream, but I changed my mind. I don't think this tart needed anything else to make it better.

C'mon, do you see the layers of pastry?  The filling at the bottom?  Would you believe the whole tart was gone by the next day, after breakfast?  Yeah, it's that good.  I love the brown butter filling, and I have ideas of using pears and maybe adding a little almond extract to the filling. Yeah? Yeah.

Anne Burrell is my gal.  So is Ina and Tyler.  But, I'm definitely on an Anne Kick these days. I have her debut cookbook, and am loving it. I can't wait to find more time to dive into those recipes.  A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of InternetExplorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.
If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.


Pin It


bellini said...

You had me at butter, tender, flaky pastry!!!

Aarthi said...

This recipe is so good...Mouthwatering Dear..


Valerie said...

Wow, Debby! It doesn't get much better than brown butter and apples!

Priyanka said...

Love the rustic look. its making me hungry

Lynn said...

Debby this sounds delicious. I love pastry anything and when you add browned butter and apples, YUM!!

Joanne said...

Well I am a SERIOUS tart or pie lover...either/or. And a SERIOUS brown butter lover. So this is SERIOUSLY something that needs to happen. Soon.

Becki's Whole Life said...

That crust looks wonderful and I love the idea of brandy and browned butter with the apples. This is definitely a lovely dessert!

Joshua Alan Burgin-Eaton - "Just Eat!" said...

Yum! This tart gets my approval lol! Your photos were gorgeous, too, food mama!

FOODalogue said...

I'm not a baker nor much of a dessert eater but I do appreciate fruit tarts and pastry dough over cakes. This looks really wonderful.

Velva said...

This would rock my world! I love pumpkin pie but this apple tart would be the bomb.

As always, great recipe.


OLGUIS said...

this dessert looks fantastic.
Can I have a piece?

Monica H said...

I saw her make this on her show and I was hooked. It looked so darn tasty. i really want to make this some day.

Ann Joseph said...

As it says about Tarts in a Russian Proverb, "A house isn't beautiful because of its corners but because of its tarts." (From recipe clearly proves how true it is! Thanks for sharing