Brown Butter Stone-Fruit Tart by Ashley Barbey

This beautiful tart will make any occasion feel special, and you’ll love the brown butter pastry cream.

Ashley Barbey is an award-winning cake designer, sugar-flower artist, and food blogger located in St. Louis, MO. Her cake tutorials can be found on Sugar Geek Show, Sugar Street Studios, and on her blog. Ashley is the food stylist, photographer, and baker behind, where she shares recipes, cake, cookie, sugar-flower tutorials, and lots more.


For the sweet tart dough:

1½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (56g) confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, very cold and grated on a box grater
1 egg yolk
2 tsp heavy cream
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

For the pastry cream:

¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter
2 cups (480ml) whole milk
½ cup (100g) light brown sugar, packed
¼ tsp fine sea salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp pure vanilla paste

For the tart assembly:

3 peaches
3 red plums
½ cup (80g) cherries
Toasted almonds, for sprinkling
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling


Brown Butter Pastry Cream

1.Place the butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter until deep golden brown and the butter stops popping. Set aside to cool until warm.

2.In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk and salt and bring to a simmer.

3.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the sugar and egg yolks and whisk until fully mixed, creamy, and lightened, about 30 seconds.

4.Add the cornstarch and whisk to combine.

5.When the milk mixture is simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat. Carefully and slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to avoid cooking the egg.

6.Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, whisking continuously until the pastry cream begins to thicken and slow bubbles pop on the surface.

7.Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any curdled bits and to smooth out the cream.

8.Whisk in the brown butter and vanilla bean paste.

9.Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap so that a skin doesn’t form. Allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature.

10.Chill the pastry cream in the fridge until completely chilled, about 4 hours, but preferably overnight, before using.


Sweet Tart Crust

1.Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple times to combine.

2.Scatter in the cold, grated butter over the flour mixture. Pulse a few times to evenly distribute. The mixture will be clumpy, resembling coarse meal.

3.Whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the egg yolk mixture while pulsing. Pulse the mixture until it starts sticking together, forming large clumps. It’s okay if there is still some flour that hasn’t been fully incorporated.

4.Pour the mixture out onto your work surface. With a light hand, knead just a couple times to incorporate all of the flour and to ensure everything is thoroughly incorporated.

5.Flatten dough into a disc, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

6.Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes until pliable. Roll out your dough into a 12-inch (30.5-cm) circle, about an 1/8 inch (.3 cm) thick.

7.Place the dough over your tart pan and quickly ease the dough into the pan. Avoid stretching the dough. Use the tips of your fingers to ensure the dough is flush with the bottom and sides of the pan.

8.Trim the excess dough off the top of the pan. Take another look at your tart dough, checking for any tears, gaps, or uneven edges. Use the excess dough to fill in those spots.

9.Place the tart shell into the freezer for at least 1 hour.

10.Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Lightly spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Press the foil into the tart shell, covering the edges. Fill the shell with pie weights.

11.Place the tart shell into the oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and pie weights.

12.For a fully baked shell, continue baking for 10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye on the edges of the tart so they don’t burn. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.


Assembling the Tart

1.Assemble the tart just before serving. Slice the peaches and plums into thin slices.

2.Pit and halve the cherries, leaving a few stemmed and uncut. Set aside.

3.Stir the chilled pastry cream. Pour into the cooled, fully baked tart crust.

4.With an offset spatula, spread the pastry cream out evenly in the tart crust.

5.Place the peaches and plums over the pastry cream. Top with cherries.

6.Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the tart, filling in some of the gaps where the pastry cream can be seen.

7.Sprinkle the tart with demerara sugar just before serving. Serve immediately.

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