Round 2 of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
Next up: this AMAZING apple tart.
I’m a big fan of apple desserts at Thanksgiving. And as much as I love pumpkin, I do NOT like pumpkin pie. It’s a texture thing.
Looks pretty, doesn’t it? Looks intimidating? It definitely isn’t.
This is one of the easiest desserts out there. Thanks in part to store-bought puff pastry sheets.
Puff pastry is basically the best thing ever, in general. Light, flaky, buttery…and with the store-bought sheets, totally attainable at home. It makes desserts like this REALLY easy. If I can do it, so can you.
Can we just talk about the filling for a second?
OMG. I’m flipping out over how incredibly yummy the brown butter filling is. It’s nutty and caramel-y and the PERFECT base for anything apple.
I was eating it straight from the bowl with a spoon. Nothing says delicious like that. I have to come up with more ways to use this stuff. It’s SO GOOD.
It starts out by browning some butter in a pan and then mixing in sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and egg. It’s almost like a batter. The key to using this in the tart, however, is allowing it to chill completely before spreading it on the pastry. We want the pastry as cold as possible, in order to ensure maximum flakiness.
Once the filling is cooled, we spread it on a sheet of puff pastry, layer on apples, sprinkle everything with sugar and little bit more butter (it’s the holidays, right?), and then pop her in the oven.
The pastry gets deeply golden brown and crisp, the apples tender, and the brown butter filling bubbles up and fills in all the nooks and crannies between the apple slices.
When it comes out of the oven, to give it that classic tart gloss, we brush over a mixture of warm apricot jam and brandy. It makes everything look beautiful, while adding another layer of moisture and sweetness to the finished tart.
See? It’s not difficult. It takes some patience, but the actual effort is not a lot. I LOVE desserts like this, especially during the holidays when everything feels high maintenance. This is not.
I tested out this tart last week, and I plan to double the recipe below and bring it to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. The fam will love it.
I ate it as breakfast (sans ice cream…but no judgement if ice cream is included first thing in the morning), and it was the perfect accompaniment to a hot mug of coffee.
This Brown Butter Apple Tart is deceptively easy to make while looking and tasting incredibly impressive. Warm, spiced brown butter filling bakes along with sweet apples on a flaky, crisp pastry crust. It is heavenly. All that’s missing is a scoop of ice cream and maybe a drizzle of caramel. Delicious!
For the Brown Butter Filling:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons flour
- Pinch of fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 egg
For the Tart:
- 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry (keep it in the fridge until the last minute)
- Egg wash
- 2 large honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (I did not peel mine but you can)
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup apricot jam or jelly
- 2 tablespoons apple liqueur or brandy
- Vanilla or caramel ice cream, for serving
For the Filling:
- Place the butter in a small saucepan or skillet and melt over medium heat. Swirling the pan every now and then, cook until the butter is lightly golden brown and smells nutty. Watch it carefully, as it can go from brown to burnt in no time.
- Transfer the browned butter to a medium mixing bowl to cool slightly.
- Whisk in the sugar and flour and stir until completely incorporated.
- Whisk in the salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and egg until everything is combined and smooth.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes – we want it to cool completely before proceeding. It will firm up and lighten in color as it cools.
For the Tart:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly dust the pastry with flour and then roll the pastry gently to seal the perforations. Using a paring knife, gently cut a ½-inch border into the pastry, being sure to not cut all the way through. This will create a sort of rim to hold in all the filling and apples.
- Brush the entire surface with egg wash. This will help the edges brown but will also seal in the center so it doesn’t get too soggy from the filling.
- Spread the brown butter filling evenly over the pastry, being sure to stay within the border.
- Arrange the apples on top of the filling, overlapping them decoratively.
- Sprinkle the apple slices with the sugar and then dot the cold butter evenly over the top.
- Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown around the edges and the apples are tender. Some of the filling is likely to overflow in spots – don’t worry! This is OK. Most of the filling will firm up and bake with the apples.
- While the tart is baking, whisk together the jam and liqueur in a small saucepan until the jam is melted. Brush the mixture over the entire tart once it comes out of the oven.
- Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite ice cream.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: desserts
Keywords: brown butter apple tart, easy apple tart, brown butter tart, apple brown butter tart