Recipe Of The Day: Brown Butter Cherry Tart

We love summer for so many reasons, but the bounty of fresh seasonal produce is at the top of the list. Depending on where you are in the United States, cherry season can start as early as May and run as late as August, which means we can eat the juicy small stone fruit all summer long. And while nothing beats devouring fresh, perfectly ripe cherries out of hand, if you're feeling inspired to highlight them in baked form, then this brown butter cherry tart is the summer dessert you need.

The Best Cherry Dessert Recipes

Executive pastry chef Shannon Swindle added this seasonal tart to the menu of Suzanne Goin's acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant a.o.c. this spring to celebrate California's early cherry season. But if you can't make it to the restaurant in-person, chef Swindle has graciously shared her recipe with The Daily Meal.

Don't be intimidated by the ingredient list or steps; you don't need to be a professional pastry chef to pull off this delightful dessert.

It all starts with the simple tart crust — which can be made ahead and even frozen for up to a month — that is made with butter, powdered sugar, salt, egg and flour. A stand mixer makes easy work of it, resulting in a smooth and manageable dough that will perfectly drape your tart pan.

The brown butter in the recipe's name comes into play in the filling. To brown butter, all you have to do is melt butter over medium-low heat and cook until the milk solids start to turn brown and the mixture smells nutty. The key is to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't burn. Don't try to rush things by turning up the heat; your patience will be rewarded.

From there, the brown butter is slowly whisked into a mixture of eggs, lemon zest, sugar, flour, vanilla and a dash of salt. Dump the cherries into the tart crust, top with the filling and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. That's it! You'll have a restaurant-quality dessert in no time that can be prepared ahead, making it one of the best dishes to bring to a party.

Brown Butter Cherry Tart recipe

Recipe courtesy executive pastry chef Shannon Swindle of a.o.c.  


For the crust:

  • 10 ounces (20 tablespoons) softened unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 ounces all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To bake the tart:

  • 1 pound sweet cherries, pitted
  • Whipped cream or ice cream, for serving


For the crust:

Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the 10 ounces butter, 5 ounces powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspon salt until well combined. Do not beat a lot of air into this mixture.

Step 2: Add the egg and mix until combined.

Step 3: Add 15 ounces all-purpose flour and mix until a soft dough forms.

Step 4: Divide the dough in half and reserve the second piece for later use. The dough may be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to one month.

Step 5: Roll the dough into an 11-inch round about 1/8-inch thick. Line a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with the dough, pinching off any excess around the rim. Chill the shell for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Line the shell with parchment paper or a coffee filter and fillwith beans or rice to blind bake. Bake the shell at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown around the edge. Remove the blind baking beans or rice and bake another 5-10 minutes if needed to brown the bottom. Cool the shell completely before filling.

For the filling:

Step 1: In a small sauce pan, melt the 8 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat and cook until the milk solids brown and the mixture smells nutty.

Step 2: In a bowl, whisk the 2 eggs, zest from 1/2 lemon, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 ounces flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla paste and1/2 teaspoon salt until well combined.

Step 3: Slowly drizzle in the brown butter, whisking constantly

To bake the tart:

Step 1: Spread the cherries in an even layer on the bottom of the tart shell.

Step 2: Pour the filling over the cherries and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is firm to the touch in the center.

Step 3: Allow the tart to cool for 30 minutes. Remove the tart from the pan and slice into 12 servings. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.