Blackberry, Brown Butter and Sage Tart
Who doesn’t love brown butter? And isn’t crispy sage and brown butter one of the best flavour pairings of all time? This tart is inspired by that - as well as roasty sweet blackberries and pears. This is truly an autumnal dessert that won’t disappoint- yes, a little more work is required if you’re making the pastry from scratch but you and your loved ones will absolutely reap the rewards later! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
To make the pastry:
240 grams of all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
60 grams of caster sugar
140 grams unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 large egg
50 mLs of cream
Grease a tart tin with butter and set aside.
In a large bowl add flour, sugar and salt and give it a good stir. With your fingertips rub butter into the flour mixture until mixture resembles sandy breadcrumbs and is tinted yellow from the butter.
Mix the egg and cream in a cup, then add it to the flour butter mixture. Stir with a knife until a shaggy dough appears, then using your hand bring the dough together. If the pastry is too warm (your hand might be getting greasy from the butter melting, or it could be a hot day, wrap the dough in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for half an hour to rest)
Roll out the dough using a rolling pin on a floured work surface. Roll the dough to form a large circle about 4 cms thick (1/4 of an inch). Then quickly flop the dough into the tart tin. Lift the dough up around the sides so that it falls snugly into the tart tin, and gently press out any air bubbles. Trim the outside of the dough (any that overhangs around the tart tin), cover in cling wrap and freeze for 1 hour.
To blind bake the tart shell; preheat the oven to 180°C fan forced (200°C or 356°F). Poke holes in the bottom of the pasty with a fork, cover with baking paper and pastry beads (or rice), then bake for 35 minutes or until the tart shell is golden brown in colour. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
To make the roasted blackberries and pears:
2 small pears
6 green cardamom pods
3 tablespoons of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Line a small roasting tray with baking paper, and put in the blackberries. Preheat the oven to 125°C fan forced (145°C or 255°F).
On a chopping board thinly slice pears and crush the cardamom pods. Add them to the roasting tray with the blackberries. Sprinkle over salt and sugar then lightly mix with your hands. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and fragrant.
Remove and discard the cardamom pods and set the fruit aside for later.
To make the tart:
110 grams of unsalted butter
150grams of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste
50 grams of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs,at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
5 fresh blackberries
2 sprigs of fresh sage
Walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan forced (180°C or 320°F).
Start with the brown butter as it takes some time to cool. In a milk pan or small pot add butter and then put on the stovetop on medium heat. While the butter melts, stir it occasionally. First the butter will foam considerably, then after about 5 to 7 minutes or so (it could be longer depending on your stovetop) you should start to notice a nutty aroma and an overall darkening of the butter or brown specks.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl and hand held electric mixer, add eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla then whisk for 10 minutes on high speed. Turn the speed down to low and whisk for a further 5 minutes and the mixture resembles a light and creamy foam.
Arrange the roasted pears and blackberries around the base of the tart shell and set aside.
Sift the flour into the creamy egg mixture then fold it through until just combined, pour in the browned butter and quickly fold that through also. Pour the batter over the roasted fruit in the tart shell and then sprinkle chopped walnuts, sage leaves and the fresh blackberries over the top. Put the tart in the oven and reduce the temperature by 10 degrees. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a tester inserted into the batter resembles a thick paste.
Cool the tart on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving in slices.
To save time you could also use a store bought short crust pastry, although it won't be exactly the same (not a sweet nor buttery). Just follow the instructions on the packet.
This pie will keep in the fridge for 3 days (if it lasts that long!)