Brown Butter Apple Tart Recipe

If you haven't tried using brown butter in a recipe, we have just one question: What are you waiting for? Against popular belief, brown butter is not the butter equivalent of brown sugar but instead refers to butter that has reacted to heat, giving it a deep, nutty flavor and toasty aroma. According to Serious Eats, brown butter undergoes the Maillard reaction, and as it turns out, this heat-based chemical reaction can add some serious flavor to normally mundane foods!

Recipe developer Jessica Morone of Jess Loves Baking has an irresistible recipe for a brown butter apple tart, and it truly is the perfect fall treat. "Browned butter adds extra flavor that you wont get from regular butter," Morone explains of the elevated ingredient. "It makes things taste richer, more caramelized and nuttier." When it comes to fall desserts, who doesn't love flavors that are richer, more caramelized, and nuttier? If you love apple-based desserts and want to take your recipe to the next level, give this brown butter apple tart recipe a try for a truly decadent experience.

Gather the ingredients to make a brown butter apple tart

To make Morone's brown butter apple tart, you'll need a handful of key ingredients, many of which are likely already sitting in your fridge or pantry. For starters, you'll need butter, which you'll soon transform into brown butter. For the crust, which Morone says is "a bit more like a sugar cookie than a flaky pie crust," you'll need all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, an egg, vanilla extract, and salt. For the filling, you'll need three granny smith apples, which should be cored, peeled, and thinly sliced. To round out the filling, you'll also need more eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Start by preparing the tart crust

Grab your food processor and add in 1 ¼ cup of flour, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt, then pulse until these ingredients are combined. Then, cut ½ cup of butter into uniformly sized small cubes, add these cubes to the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add one of the eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture and pulse for another 20 seconds until the dough starts to clump together but not so long that the dough becomes a ball. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll into a ball with your hands (no rolling pin necessary just yet). Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge. Allow it to chill for at least an hour.

Roll out the crust and put it into the tart tin

While the tart crust dough is chilling in your refrigerator, you can prep most of the rest of this recipe. Start by preheating your oven to 350 F. Grease your tart tin with butter and set it aside. Once the "chilling hour" has passed, use a rolling pin and a lightly floured surface to roll the tart crust dough into a circle that is 11 inches in diameter, about 2 inches bigger than the tart tin itself. Transfer the crust into the tin and press the dough into the sides of the pan. Finally, trim the edge of the dough so that it is level with the top of the tin. 

Make the brown butter

Place the remaining cup of butter into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Stir the butter frequently as it melts down. After a few minutes, you'll notice that the butter will start to get bubbly and foamy, which is all part of the process. Once it turns brown and smells nutty, transfer the butter to a bowl and allow it to cool at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, as you wait for the brown butter to cool down, grab a large bowl and whisk together the remaining eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Once the butter has cooled for 10 minutes, add it to the bowl with the whisked ingredients. Finally, add in the remaining flour, whisking everything until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined, thus forming the custard-like filling for the tart.

Assemble your brown butter apple tart and bake

Now that all of the ingredients are ready, you can assemble the brown butter apple tart. Start by arranging the sliced apples in a spiral pattern within the crust. Then, pour the filling over the apples, ensuring that it's evenly distributed. Place the tart tin on a baking sheet, then pop it in the oven and allow it to bake for 50 minutes. Once the top is brown and the custard is set, you can remove the tart from the oven, let it cool, and then slice and enjoy!

"I love this tart because it is the perfect autumn tart," Morone raves about this dish. "Apples are the quintessential fall fruit, and the brown butter in the tart filling gives it a deep flavor that just makes the tart feel perfect for cooler weather." If you've been looking for a go-to dessert recipe to ease you into autumn, this brown butter apple tart is the perfect option. 

Brown Butter Apple Tart Recipe
4.9 from 9 ratings
Recipe developer Jessica Morone has an irresistible recipe for a brown butter apple tart, and it truly is the perfect fall treat.
Prep Time
35
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
brown butter apple tart slice
Total time: 85 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ½ cup butter, divided
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 granny smith apples, thinly sliced
Directions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor pulse together 1 ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  2. Cut ½ cup of butter into small uniformly-sized cubes, add the butter to the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture is coarse and crumbly (about 20 pulses).
  3. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the mixture and pulse for another 20 seconds so that the dough is beginning to clump together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a ball.
  5. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap, and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Grease a 9-inch tart pan, and set it aside.
  8. Roll out the tart crust dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch circle.
  9. Lift the crust into the prepared tart pan and press the dough into the sides of the pan. Trim the edges of the dough so it is level at the top of the pan.
  10. Place the remaining 1 cup of butter into a saucepan and heat it over medium heat. Stirring often, heat the butter. First it will melt. Then it will start to foam. When it turns brown and smells nutty, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
  11. In the meantime, grab a large bowl, and whisk together the remaining eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice.
  12. Once the butter has cooled for 10 minutes, add it to the sugar mixture along with the remaining flour, and whisk until everything is well combined.
  13. Arrange the apple slices on the tart crust in a spiral pattern.
  14. Pour the egg mixture over the apples.
  15. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and place the sheet in the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top is browned and the custard is set.
  16. Let it cool completely, then slice and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 613
Total Fat 37.9 g
Saturated Fat 22.9 g
Trans Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 207.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 37.9 g
Sodium 414.1 mg
Protein 7.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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