The past two weeks were absolutely beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest. While I was on vacation, temperatures soared to 80 degrees and the sun managed to stick around until yesterday. It was a wonderful mini-summer to tide us over until July, when things really heat up in Portland.
Sunshine immediately makes me crave berries which is how this Brown Butter Berry Tart became the finale for my family’s Mother’s Day dinner. The original recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit, called for raspberries, but when I went shopping there was only one lonely container of fresh blackberries left on the shelf. Clearly everyone else in Tacoma had the same idea! (Happily my combination of blackberries and frozen blueberries worked just fine.)
Since I hadn’t seen my family in a month, I wanted to spend my spare time playing rummy with my mom and grandma, not slaving away in the kitchen. Luckily, besides being tasty, this tart is also amazingly simple to put together — though considering how ruthlessly my grandma beat us, perhaps I should have chosen a high-maintenance dessert instead. Then I could still have my dignity. *sigh*
Anyways, on to the sweet stuff —
The tart shell is super easy to make — melt some butter, mix it with flour, sugar and a touch of vanilla and you’re halfway there. Press it into a tart pan with removable bottom (I used a springform) and bake until it’s light brown and slightly puffed, roughly 20 minutes. You may need to tent it with foil after the first ten minutes to keep it from getting too dark.
While the crust is cooling, make the filling. The first step is making brown butter, which is one of my favorite things ever. After cooking for about 5-6 minutes, regular butter transforms into a nutty golden deliciousness that makes a great sauce for pasta, fish and vegetables. It’s also a wonderful flavor boost in cookies, brownies and tarts. Plus the smell instantly makes my mouth water — yum!
So brown the butter (being careful not to burn it) and add it to the rest of the custard ingredients: flour, sugar, vanilla and eggs. The result will be a fairly liquid batter that will smell like butter. Again, yum!
Fill the crust with berries:
And bake until it’s done, about 40 minutes:
Cool before releasing from the pan. Do a happy dance because it looks awesome!
Serve with freshly whipped cream:
And finally, plot your rummy revenge. Grandma, you’ve been warned!