Salted Butter Tart. I like the plain look of the tart with its rustic scalloped edges, but you could dress each slice up with a dollop of whipped cream if you prefer. It isn’t necessary and moves the tart from the realm of crazy indulgent homemade massive candy bar to the saner dessert arena, but maybe that’s what you’re going for.
Bonus: you can make this early in the day and keep it in the fridge until the dessert hour.
Salted Butter Tart
(lightly adapted from Leite’s Culinaria)
Yield: 6-8 servings (but let’s be real… three people will be much happier with two large slices each.)
Note: The tart dough recipe makes enough for two tarts, so if you aren’t making two, just freeze half the dough for later use.
For the tart dough:
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose, but the wheat gives this a nice, nutty flavor), plus extra for the work surface
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup superfine (caster) sugar
For the filling:
- 1-1/4 cups superfine (caster) sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
For the tart crust:
Pulse the flour and salt to combine in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
In a separate container, whisk the egg and sugar together. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and work it in with a fork. When you squeeze a small handful of the mixture, if it holds together it is ready. If not, mix in a teaspoon or two of iced water and recheck to see if it holds together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it just until it holds together. Form the dough into a ball, cut it in half and form each half into a ball. Flatten each ball into a disk and wrap them with plastic wrap. Set one aside for another use (freeze it if not using right away) and refrigerate one for at least 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll the refrigerated dough into a circle large enough to fit a 9? round tart pan. Line the tart pan with the dough and prick it with a fork. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line the inside of the tart dough with parchment paper and fill the parchment with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes and remove the parchment and weights. Continue to bake until the tart looks golden, is set, and smells toasty, 10-15 minutes. Let it cool completely on a wire rack.
For the filling:
Combine the sugar and butter in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it liquefies and reaches a dark amber color. Do not leave it unattended because it is easy to let it go too far and burn.
Meanwhile, heat the salt and cream in a small saucepan just until it boils, then remove it from the heat.
When the sugar and butter caramelize to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream mixture. It will splutter at first, and when it stops, return the pan to low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the caramel is completely dissolved and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the warm caramel mixture into the cooled tart shell and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.