Saturday, June 26, 2010

YWPWT: Brown Butter Raspberry Tart with Almond-Thyme Crust

The theme for this month's You Want Pies With That? comes from last month's winner, Erin of Milk and Honey. She went with summer fruits, which are always a favorite of mine.  It was also fortuitous timing since I had a flat of raspberries to get through from the Food Preservationists Society.  In addition to two kinds of jam, I made this delicious raspberry tart.  The crust is a variation on a favorite of mine from Dorie Greenspan - her tender sweet tart crust with added almonds and fresh thyme.  This crust is as tasty as shortbread cookies, so it makes the perfect flavorful shell for any filling.  The filling in this case is a perfect combination of a nutty brown butter custard and tart berries.  The only thing I might change next time is adding just a bit of almond extract to the brown butter custard.  This tart is delicious, but also really beautiful, which would make it perfect for entertaining. 

Brown Butter Raspberry Tart with Almond-Thyme Crust (adapted from Epicurious and Dorie Greenspan)

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 T thyme, leaves only (no need to chop; the food processor will do it for you)
1 stick plus 1 T very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

1. Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times. Scatter in the thyme and the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk to break it up, then add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10 seconds each--until the dough forms clumps and curds. (The sound of the food processor will change just before the dough is ready.) Turn the dough out onto a work surface and press together with your hands lightly, just to incorporate all the dry ingredients.

2. Butter a 9-inch tart pan or pie plate and press the dough evenly over the bottom and sides.  Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes or longer.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover the crust with a piece of buttered aluminum foil (butter side down) and fit the foil tightly around the crust (note: the foil is not 100% necessary if you are out of it like I was!). Put the tart/pie pan on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes. Remove the foil and flatten out the crust gently with the back of a spoon.  Leave the oven on at 375 degrees and set the crust aside to cool while you make the filling.

For the filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries

1. Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla; whisk until smooth.
2. Cook butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often, about 6 minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup.
3. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.
4. Arrange raspberries in bottom of cooled crust. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over berries. 5. Place tart on rimmed baking sheet. Bake tart until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool tart completely in pan on rack.


  1. hi Sara
    the brown butter adds such a nice flavor to baked goods....It was a perfect compliment for the raspberries!

  2. The combination of flavours here is so unusual but sounds wonderful together! :D

  3. Oooh I love this tart! Great combo of flavors, all of which really bring out the cool sweetness of the berries.

  4. Oh my, Sara .. your crust sounds very delightful. I really like it.

  5. Just beautiful!!! I'm going to have to try this!!

  6. You had me at brown butter. Yum!

  7. I love using herbs in baking. Makes for such a great presentation. This looks beautiful. I'm going to have to try this! :)