browned butter pecan frangipane tart


My household is a small one so a 23cm tart is way too big, even when I share it with my neighbours and workmates. I've long wanted a shallow 15.5cm tart tin as its exactly half the dimensions of a 23 cm tin. When I was in Paris I made a beeline to A. Simon and purchased a De Buyer perforated tart tin, which is impossible to find in Sydney. Since my return, I've been looking for a reason to use the tin, then suddenly realised that Thanksgiving is upon us. 

Thanksgiving isn't a thing in Australia but I used to write a food column for a US based blog so got into the habit of making pies and tarts for Thanksgiving. This tart was 100% inspired by Claire Saffitz's Thanksgiving menu which I found on the 
NYT Cooking youtube channel.

I love frangipane tarts so I used Claire's tart as inspiration but adapted my own recipe to come up with this browned butter pecan frangipane tart. I thought the filling might be a bit overwhelming if it was made entirely from pecans so I used half almond meal and half toasted pecan meal. I toasted the pecans for about 8 minutes in a 190°C, conventional oven, then ground them in my mini food processor.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 15.5 cm tart. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. If you'd like to make a 23cm tart, the quantity of pastry in the recipe is sufficient to make a 23cm shell. For the filling, use a whole egg, and double the rest of the filling ingredients. The bake time will stay the same.

Browned butter pecan frangipane tart – makes a 15.5 cm tart 
60g cold unsalted butter
1 cup plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tbs cold water

65g unsalted butter
50g raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 egg yolk
50g almond or toasted pecan meal or a mixture of both
pinch salt
2 tsp flour
1½ tsp rum 

75g whole pecans
1 tbs maple syrup
flaky sea salt

To serve
candied rosemary leaves (optional)

You’ll only need about half of the pastry dough to make a 15.5 cm tart. The pastry freezes well so just wrap the remaining pastry in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. 

Combine the butter, flour and salt in a food processor and process a few times until the butter is coarsely chopped. Add sufficient water and process just until a dough starts to form around the blade. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate the pastry for an hour before rolling out thinly - 3mm thick - on a floured benchtop. Line a greased 15.5 cm flan tin with the pastry then return to the fridge for another 30 minutes while making the filling. Trim excess pastry.

Chop the butter and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and cook on high for about 4 minutes until the butter has browned and smells nutty. Set aside to cool. You can also do this step in a small saucepan on the stove. You will need 50g of the cooled brown butter for this recipe.

In a small bowl, mix together the still liquid browned butter, the sugar and vanilla. Add the egg yolk followed by the nut meal, salt, flour and rum. You should end up with a very soft paste. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm the mixture.

Preheat the oven to 190°C, conventional. Fill the pastry shell with the frangipane mixture stopping about ½ cm from the top, then level the surface with a knife. Arrange the pecans decoratively over the frangipane. Brush the maple syrup over the pecans then sprinkle with a few sea salt flakes. 

Bake the tart on the centre rack of the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the frangipane filling has puffed and is golden brown. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and let the tart cool completely before serving. 

If you'd like your tart shiny, then glaze again with maple syrup just before serving. Serve with cream.

I decided to gild the lily a little and topped the tart with a sprig of candied rosemary left over from another project. Just a warning, this is not a very sweet dessert, in fact it's almost savoury, so you might want to increase the sugar in the filling to 75g.

The finished tart looks pretty impressive but it's easy to make. 

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers and see you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now, 


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