Rhubarb and Browned Butter Tartlets

Is there anything that browned butter doesn’t turn into pure magic? Sweet, caramelized Browned Butter Filling in a delicate, homemade Pâte Sucrée is the perfect juxtaposition to the tangy rhubarb in these tartlets.

Rhubarb and Browned Butter Tartlets
Makes 12
  • Pâte Sucrée (recipe follows)
  • Browned Butter Filling (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups (200 grams) thinly sliced rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, divide Pâte Sucrée into 12 equal portions. Roll each piece into a 4-inch circle. Transfer dough to 12 (2½-inch) tart pans, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough. Transfer tart shells to prepared pan, and freeze for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  4. Spoon 2 tablespoons Browned Butter Filling into each prepared tart shell. Shingle sliced rhubarb on top of filling, and sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake until filling is set and crust is golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before carefully removing.

Pâte Sucrée
Makes 12 (2½-inch) tart shells or 1 (12x8-inch) tart shell
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons (155 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2¼ cups (227 grams) pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and zest at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in egg. Add flour and salt, beating just until mixture comes together. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Browned Butter Filling
Makes about 1½ cups
  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and vanilla bean and reserved seeds over medium heat. Cook until butter turns a deep amber color and has a nutty aroma, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and eggs. Remove vanilla bean from saucepan; slowly drizzle hot butter mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Let cool to room temperature. Once mixture is cool, whisk once more before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.



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  1. This looks beautiful! One question- what will happen if I only chill the custard for 4 hours? I’ll spread it into a wider dish so I’m sure it’s fully chilled, will it be ok? Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Liz, as long as you increase the surface area for the custard to chill, you should be alright. It might not be as perfectly set, but it’ll be close enough for government work! Happy baking!

    • Hi Sandra,

      Thank you for your question!

      While both cake flour and pastry flour are very finely milled, cake flour has an even more fine and airy texture. Cake flour also has less protein than pastry flour, affecting the elasticity and texture of baked goods.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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