This gorgeous Salted Butter Tart, Tarte au Beurre Salé, is to die for!!! Really. Mastering it is my new life goal.
It’s truly amazing what three ingredients can create. Three. The science of sugar, butter, and cream coming together to create caramel is so fantastic! I’ve made this tart three times now and the key is getting it to the right consistency to stay firm enough to slice. I’ve made it to where it tastes perfectly sweet but you want a little hint of bitterness, actually. A deeper brown, instead of golden brown, is what we want to go for here.
The recipe is from Jennifer McLagan’s cookbook “Fat”. My son handed me this book and said, “You need to make this for me!”. And I’m so glad he did!
First up is making the crust: flour, sea salt, unsalted butter, an egg and some superfine sugar.
Combine the flour and salt, then add the butter. Pulse in a food processor until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs.
Whisk the egg and sugar together.
Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture and combine with a fork.
The dough is ready when the mixture holds together when you squeeze a bit.
Knead and divide the dough in half. Flatten into two disks and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out a pastry disk and place in a lined tart pan. Prick with a fork and refrigerate.
Line the tart and fill with dried beans… or in my case rice, since I didn’t have any beans!
Cook until a dark golden color. Let cool. (If your edges start getting too dark, line it with foil, like in the photo below…
Next up, the caramel… sugar, butter, cream.
Combine the sugar and butter in a deep saucepan. Make sure it’s deep, you’ll need the height once you add the cream. (While this is cooking, warm up the cream in a separate saucepan until it boils, then set aside.)
When the caramel is the right color – a rich, dark caramel – remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream. When the caramel stops bubbling, return to a low heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the caramel in the cream.
Let the caramel cool for 10 minutes then slowly pour into the baked pastry shell. Chill for at least two hours.
The tart cuts the easiest when chilled, using a wet knife.
After I ate about half of this thing, I thought I’d try to sprinkle some of my all time favorite flake salt on top from local company Hepp Salt Co, and whoa!!!! A-mazing!!!! Tastebud jackpot!
For fun, click here for a little time-lapse video I made of the caramel.
Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Transfer to a bowl
In another bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar
Pour the egg mixture over the flour and butter mixture and mix with a fork. Squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it holds together, transfer to a lightly floured surface; if not, add a couple of teaspoons of ice water and test again
Knead gently and form into a ball, divide the pastry in half, and flatten into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using
Salted Butter Tart
Roll out a pastry round on a floored surface and line a 9 or 9 1/2 inch tart pan
Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 375°
Place the tart shell on a baking sheet. Line the tart with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake until the pastry is set, about 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and continue to cook until the pastry is a dark golden color, another 10-15 minutes
Transfer the tart to a wire rack and let cool
Combine the sugar and butter in a deep, heavy saucepan over medium heat
Cook until the butter and sugar caramelize, 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally
While the caramel is cooking, pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat
Remove from heat and set aside
Keep stirring the butter and sugar mixture, watching carefully as it begins to caramelize (remember the heat in the pan will continue cooking once it's removed from the heat. You want a rich, dark color but you don't want to burn the mixture)
When it reaches the right color, remove the pan from the heat and slowly and carefully pour in the cream
When the caramel stops bubbling, return to low heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve the caramel in the cream
Remove the pan from the heat and let the caramel cool for 10 minutes
Slowly pour the cooled caramel into the baked pasty shell and chill the tart for at least 2 hours
To serve, cut the tart with a wet knife, while the tart is still chilled but serve at room temperature
Optional, add a dollop or whipped cream or finishing flake salt and serve
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