Recipes

Brown-Butter Apple Tart

Usher in autumn with this recipe from Portland's Beast
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When Mika Paredes moved to Portland, Oregon, 10 years ago, Beast chef-owner Naomi Pomeroy was one of the first people she met; the two worked together at Pomeroy's former restaurant, Clarklewis. They've been together ever since; when Pomeroy opened Beast, Paredes joined her. "It's kind of like a common-law marriage," jokes Paredes of their long-lasting collaboration.

Paredes is chef de cuisine at Beast, where she oversees the all-female kitchen staff and the pastry program. Given her admitted sweet tooth (and weakness for gummy candy), it's a job for which she's well-suited. She shared her recipe for brown-butter apple tart with Tasting Table.

Brown-Butter Apple Tart

Recipe adapted from Mika Paredes, Beast, Portland, OR

Yield: One 10-inch tart (with extra dough to freeze for another time)

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (plus 3 hours to chill the dough)

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes (plus 3 hours chilling and time to cool)

Ingredients

Tart Dough

Butter, 2¼ sticks (at room temperature) plus 1 tablespoon (melted)

Granulated sugar, 1 cup

Kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon

Large egg, 1 (lightly beaten)

Heavy cream, 2 tablespoons

Vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons

All-purpose flour, 3½ cups (plus extra for shaping and rolling)

Filling

Large eggs, 4

Granulated sugar, 1 cup

Butter, 2 sticks

Vanilla bean, 1 (halved lengthwise, split open and seeds scraped from the pod using the tip of a knife)

All-purpose flour, ½ cup

Kosher salt, ½ teaspoon

Semi-tart apples, 3 (such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Pink Lady; peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise into ¼-inch thick rings)

Directions

1. Make the dough: Use a pastry brush to evenly coat a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (or to an 8-by-11-inch rectangular fluted tart pan with a removable bottom) with the:

• 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

To the bowl of a stand mixer, such as the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 7Qt. Stand Mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the:

• Remaining 2¼ sticks room temperature unsalted butter
• 1 cup of the granulated sugar
• ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt

Cream the mixture on medium-low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until pale and creamy, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the:

• Lightly beaten egg
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream the mixture on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the:

• 3½ cups of all-purpose flour

Mix on medium-low speed until the dough almost comes together.

Lightly dust a work surface with:

• All-purpose flour

Turn the dough onto the floured work surface and knead until it comes together into a smooth round, 4 to 5 times. Divide the dough in half and flatten each into a 1-inch-thick disc. Enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator (save or freeze the other piece of dough for another time), unwrap and let it sit out for 10 minutes at room temperature. Lightly dust a work surface with:

• All-purpose flour

Set the dough on the floured work surface, lightly flour the top of it and use a rolling pin to roll it into a ⅛-inch thick circle about 12 inches in diameter, adding more flour to the top of the dough or beneath the dough as needed.

Loosely fold the dough in half and transfer it to the buttered tart pan. Press the dough into the sides of the pan, then pinch off excess dough for a clean edge. Set the tart pan on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and line the interior of the tart shell with a 12-inch piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Add dried beans or pie weights, then bake the tart shell until the dough doesn't have any wet spots on the surface (carefully pick up a corner of the parchment paper to check), 22 to 28 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, cool for 5 minutes, then carefully lift out and remove the parchment paper and dried beans and set aside.

2. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the:

• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup granulated sugar

To a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the:

• 2 sticks unsalted butter

Once the butter is melted, add the:

• Scraped vanilla seeds and the vanilla bean pod

Continue to cook the mixture, swirling it often, until the butter foam subsides and becomes deeply golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool, then remove the vanilla pod halves and slowly whisk the browned butter-vanilla mixture into the egg-sugar mixture. Use a rubber spatula to get all of the vanilla seeds out of the pan. Whisk in the:

• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Whisk the mixture until it is smooth.

3. Finish the tart: To the par-baked tart shell on the parchment-lined baking sheet, add the:

• Apple rings

Arrange the apples in a slightly overlapping concentric circle, placing a few apples in the center of the tart after the outer ring is complete.

Slowly pour the filling over the apples. The filling is thick, so give it time to seep down into the crevasses between each apple slice, adding enough filling to come ¼-inch from the top of the crust (you may not need all of the filling). Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the tart until the apples are deep golden-brown and the filling is set in the center, about 1 hour. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the tart in the pan to a wire rack. Cool for 2 hours before removing the tart from the ring and place it on a cake plate or large platter. Slice into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.

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