Brown Butter Spelt Hazelnut Tart

brown butter tart.JPG

I made this for the family at Easter, and boy did it deliver!  It’s pretty easy to make and once you start making brown butter then you will want to add it to everything.  I actually poured it over pan fried scallops, chorizo and tarragon for a party the other day and it was incredible.  For sweets it can be added into cookies and cakes and it adds a wonderful hazelnut flavour and depth to puddings.  This spelt tart has a delicate hazelnut pastry which doesn’t really need a long rest time so the tart can be make reasonably quickly.  Please let me know what you think as I really think it’s a winner!

Prep time: 35 minutes

Baking time: 1hr 35 minutes

Serves 10


150g unsalted butter

100g unrefined caster sugar

4 tbsp double cream

3 medium eggs

pinch of sea salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

120ml maple syrup

For the pastry

100g hazelnuts

140g spelt flour

120g unsalted butter, diced and cold

80g icing sugar

1 medium egg yolk

pinch of sea salt

icing sugar for dusting

Crème fraîche for serving

Add the hazelnuts into a blender and blend to a fine powder.  Then add to a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment.  Pour in the spelt flour, icing sugar, salt and start the mixer.  Add the diced butter until all is incorporated and it goes to a crumbly consistency.  Then add the egg yolk and it should all come together into a ball.  Wrap in cling film and place into the freezer for 20 minutes or into the fridge for a few hours if you have more time.

Butter a standard 10 inch tart dish and dust lightly with spelt flour.  Place into the fridge for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and mould the pastry into the chilled tart case with your hands.  Try to keep the layer nice and thin and cover with a sheet of baking parchment and baking beans.  Blind bake for 15 minutes and carefully remove the baking paper.  It will be quite delicate so be careful with it.  Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the pastry has lightly crisped up and coloured a little at the edges.  

Ten minutes before the pastry is done, add the butter into a silver frying pan and melt completely on a medium to high heat.  You want to be able to see the colour of the butter change! Stir it continuously and it should start to bubble.  Keep an eye on the liquid until it starts to turn a golden colour and you smell a hazelnut smell.  This means it is almost ready.  Pour into a heatproof bowl over some iced water to stop the cooking or place into the freezer for a couple of minutes.

Then get a large bowl and whisk together the brown butter, double cream, eggs, salt, vanilla and maple syrup.  Mix until everything is well combined.  Pour this into the baked tart pastry and return to the oven for 50-55 minutes until the top has formed a skin and has mostly firmed up.  Leave to cool completely before serving with a gentle dusting of icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.   

Nina ParkerComment