Caramelized Apple Tart in a Browned Butter Custard

Autumn is an awe-inspiring, beautiful season in most parts of the US.  Brightly-colored leaves cover the trees, and we begin to see hints of crimson, yellow and orange dotting the landscape as winds clear the branches bare.
Apples of all kinds are begging to be plucked from their trees, and they’re plentiful and affordable in the markets too.   It’s the time of year when I begin to dream up recipes that will utilize all of those fabulous apples.  I scour my archives and cookbooks for ideas, creating a pile of ‘must-make’ recipes that is much too ambitious for the season.  This one made it through first:  Caramelized Apple Tart in Brown Butter Custard.
Crisp, Granny Smith’s are sauteed in bubbling butter & sugar until properly golden and covered in a drippy, caramelly syrup.
For the custard, sugar & eggs are beaten until thick and fluffy… then flour, salt and nutty browned butter are blended in. The custard is poured into an already baked tart shell, and the apples are placed on top in desired decorative fashion.
My apples sunk into the custard when I placed them, so I saved a handful and placed those into the tart after it had baked for about 15 minutes- at that point, the custard had firmed up slightly, and the apples were easily placed into the tart and stayed visible in the final baked product.
This tart can be made in a regular 11-inch-round tart pan. I thought it might be more interesting to make it in my rectangular tart pan, and it was easier (when chilled) to cut into bars for serving. You can’t really go wrong with browning butter… it seems to make everything taste way more amazing than expected (same goes for caramelizing). The tart crust was buttery and flaky. The custard wrapped itself around the caramelized apples and firmed up when baked. A little freshly whipped cream spooned on top and it was perfect.

This recipe can be found here:  Caramelized Apple Brown Butter Custard Tart

Leave a Comment

42 Responses to “Caramelized Apple Tart in a Browned Butter Custard”

  1. 1

    Michelle — September 21, 2009 @ 3:55 AM

    Great photos and an awesome recipe. The tart looks just delicious.

  2. 2

    patsyk — September 21, 2009 @ 4:01 AM

    You are making me crave all of the apple treats that come around this time of year! Those photos are wonderfully mouth-watering!

  3. 3

    nina — September 21, 2009 @ 5:18 AM

    An absolute scrumptious pie……ready for some more fall recipes.Beautiful pics!

  4. 4

    Jenny — September 21, 2009 @ 5:26 AM

    Beautiful recipe Lori!! Perfect for fall, I just love this time of year for baking!

  5. 5

    megan — September 21, 2009 @ 5:27 AM

    I could just grab a fork and dig in. Looks scrumptious!

  6. 6

    Elizabeth — September 21, 2009 @ 5:29 AM

    Oh yeah. I am addicted to browning butter. It really goes one step farther than “Butter makes everything better”, and that’s a real good thing. I love the sound of this tart, looks great too!

  7. 7

    Elle — September 21, 2009 @ 5:36 AM

    That’s gorgeous! And I can just taste the browned butter. Fabulous Fall dessert!

  8. 8

    MaryMoh — September 21, 2009 @ 5:36 AM

    that just looks so awesome. I don’t mind to skip dinner to enjoy more of that.m Lovely photos.

  9. 9

    cookiepie — September 21, 2009 @ 5:56 AM

    That looks beautiful, and sounds mouth-wateringly delicious!!

  10. 10

    Bellini Valli — September 21, 2009 @ 6:12 AM

    It is dishes like this that are what autumn is all about.

  11. 11

    VeggieGirl — September 21, 2009 @ 7:34 AM

    I feel the same way about autumn – love it.

    And I LOOOOVE that tart!!

  12. 12

    veron — September 21, 2009 @ 7:35 AM

    Oh yum! Apple desserts are my weakness, and even if I have some apple pie waiting for me, I am drooling over this.

  13. 13

    picky cook — September 21, 2009 @ 7:45 AM

    wow – that looks incredible. i am ready for fall flavors and this has it. love the apple pic!

  14. 14

    Judy — September 21, 2009 @ 8:25 AM

    Love this Lori! So wishing for some wonderful fall weather to start enjoying some of these fall treats. This one is bookmarked!!!

  15. 15

    pigpigscorner — September 21, 2009 @ 8:31 AM

    THis sounds amazing with the brown butter!

  16. 16

    Sarah — September 21, 2009 @ 8:57 AM

    Looks delicious! I will be trying this recipe this fall for sure!

  17. 17

    Eliana — September 21, 2009 @ 9:31 AM

    This looks incredible – a perfect depiction of Fall.

  18. 18

    snooky doodle — September 21, 2009 @ 10:33 AM

    oh this tart looks so nice. I m drooling! I m imagining its buttery taste and those apples :)

  19. 19

    The Duo Dishes — September 21, 2009 @ 10:37 AM

    Wow. That looks too good! Must add this to the list of even more things to bake this fall.

  20. 20

    southern hostess — September 21, 2009 @ 12:45 PM

    Yum! I love the gorgeous golden brown color.

  21. 21

    Barbara — September 21, 2009 @ 12:51 PM

    You can’t beat the fall- and apples- and apple tarts. Yours looks fantastic and I will make it soon!

  22. 22

    Dana — September 21, 2009 @ 2:45 PM

    I have an 11 inch pan but I think I need a rectangular one for this tart. The look is so elegant. What a beautiful dessert!

  23. 23

    Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen — September 21, 2009 @ 2:47 PM

    Holy Moly, Lori! That custard really looks heavenly! I love the whole thing, but that custard I could just eat with a spoon!

  24. 24

    Sam@BingeNYC — September 21, 2009 @ 4:40 PM

    You had me at “brown butter custard.” This totally screams autumn. Delicious.

  25. 25

    Gera @ SweetsFoods — September 21, 2009 @ 4:30 PM

    What a beautiful color photos. Your tart looks wonderful independently that I’m near of Spring, for this, all the year is good :)



  26. 26

    Laurie V — September 21, 2009 @ 6:12 PM

    How yummy.. and easy too. Thank you for sharing this!!

  27. 27

    chocolate shavings — September 22, 2009 @ 4:11 AM

    That tart looks PERFECT! What a great idea for the apples I’ll be picking this weekend!

  28. 28

    Amanda — September 22, 2009 @ 4:18 AM

    OMG Lori that’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m hitting the apple orchard this weekend if we don’t get drenched with rain.

  29. 29

    Jen @ MaplenCornbrea — September 22, 2009 @ 5:05 AM

    Oh my that looks incredible!!! I love that you used a browned butter custard!

  30. 30

    Adam — September 22, 2009 @ 5:40 AM

    Your bubbling apple pan shot was a pure joy to look at. I can smell the aroma over here. Beautiful job, Fall is here :)

  31. 31

    Maria — September 22, 2009 @ 6:04 AM

    Fabulous way to start fall! I am a sucker for apples-I eat one every day..and if they are in a dessert even better. Ha!

  32. 32

    Lynn — September 22, 2009 @ 6:20 AM

    What a wonderful recipe to celebrate the start of fall and apple season. Every element of it sounds delicious!

    Love the leaf and apple pics!

  33. 33

    deb@accessoryalamode — September 22, 2009 @ 11:33 AM

    This looks delicious!!! It really got me in the mood for fall and baking! Thank you for posting :O)

  34. 34

    lisa — September 22, 2009 @ 11:47 AM

    can I make this same recipe with peaches? If so what should I do different.

  35. 35

    bridget {bake at 350} — September 22, 2009 @ 2:06 PM

    That is just gorgeous! We don’t get much of a fall here, but it’s still my favorite season. Love those apples!

  36. 36

    RobinSue — September 22, 2009 @ 5:48 PM

    I just took the kids apple picking and have a boat load to cook with (that is if the kids don’t eat them all on me first.) I love the browned butter custard in this recipe. Beautiful!

  37. 37

    Lori Lange — September 22, 2009 @ 8:33 PM

    Lisa- I’m afraid I’ve never caramelized peaches, so I’m unable to answer your question on whether or not subbing peaches for the apples would work. Let me know if you try it & you’re successful!

  38. 38

    elly — September 23, 2009 @ 4:15 AM

    Holy cow, this looks SO good! I have already collected way too many apple recipes to try in the fall, but what’s one more? Hopefully I will get to this one soon!

  39. 39

    Katie @ goodLife {eats} — September 23, 2009 @ 7:24 AM

    This looks delicious, Lori! Yet another reason I need to go buy some tart pans.

  40. 40

    HoneyB — September 23, 2009 @ 9:15 AM

    LOVE this! Looks amazing! You sold me with the Browned Butter…..

  41. 41

    {kiss my spatula} — September 23, 2009 @ 10:02 AM

    beautiful photos!! our leaves have yet to turn out west here…so i’m still hanging on to the last bits of warm weather for dear life. but am so looking forward to apple picking and tarts as amazing as yours!! browned butter makes everything better.

  42. 42

    RecipeGirl's Mom — September 23, 2009 @ 12:41 PM

    Mmmm This really looks good. I want some!