Believe me when I tell you that this Brown Butter Pear Tart is the most delicious thing I’ve ever made. And probably have ever eaten. The crust is buttery and sweet and resembles a sugar cookie. The filling is light and creamy with a little tang from the lemon. And the poached pears are perfectly spiced.
It’s almost Thanksgiving and I have every intention of making this Brown Butter Pear Tart as a dessert for everyone. Besides being really delicious, its also really impressive looking. Which is exactly what you want in a dessert you share for a special occasion. It does take awhile to make, but it is worth every second it takes because of how yummy it is.
I used Anjou pears and poached them in white wine, but you could use a different kind of pears or poach them in red wine. I’ve seen other pear tarts out there with those changes and they are just as tasty and beautiful, but I prefer the way I did it here.
What is brown butter?
Brown butter is basically what it sounds like, butter that has been browned. It has a richer more intense flavor than regular butter and adds a nice depth of flavor to things. It is made by cooking butter long enough to turn the milk solids brown while cooking out any water in the butter. The browned butter is done when it becomes golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma, which takes about 2-3 minutes. You don’t want to cook it too long or it will burn and not taste good at all.
Brown Butter Tart Tips
- Make sure the butter for the tart crust is cold. If you use room temperature or melted butter, your tart won’t be flaky or crisp.
- When you roll out the dough for the tart make sure it is longer than the sides of the pan until after the dough has been in the freezer, then trim the edges to the size of the pan, otherwise the dough may shrink down while baking.
- When poaching the pears, you want them to be softened, but not totally cooked. They will continue cooking after the tart is assembled.
Brown Butter Pear Tart
- 1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup semi-dry white wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 Anjou pears peeled, quarters and cored
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. In a food processor, or using a pastry cutter, add butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture is coarse and crumbly (about 20 pulses). Add in the egg and vanilla extract 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. Wrap with plastic wrap and put into the fridge for at least an hour.
- After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge and put it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into an 11 inch circle, then place the dough into a 9 inch tart pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, then place the dough into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the over to 375°F. Take the dough out of the freezer, and trim the edges of the pastry to slighly longer than the tart pan. Press aluminum foil on top of the crust, covering the edges to prevent burning. On top of the foil fill the crust with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil, place the crust back into the oven and cook for another 5 minutes until the crust is golden. Set aside to cool.
- In a saucepan add the water, wine, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla extract and cloves. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pears to the saucepan. Cover the pan with parchment paper, then place a lid slightly smaller than the saucepan on top of the parchment paper. Cook over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes until the pears are softened. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pears, let them cool, and then cut the quarters into smaller slices.
- In a small skillet heat the butter over medium heat until it turns golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour butter into a separate bowl and set it aside.
- In a separate medium bowl beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt together with an electric mixer. Add in the flour and beat it until it is smooth. Add in the browned butter and beat until it is just incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the baked tart shell. Arrange the pear wedges in a circle around the perimeter of the tart and in the center of the tart. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minuted until the custard is golden brown. Cool before serving.
If you try this recipe make sure you leave me a comment about how it turned out!