A cherry and coconut brown butter tart with a chocolate crust – pure decadence!
Are cherries expensive where you live? Here in our part of Canada the availability of delicious cherries is limited to a few months during the summer, and they tend to be costly. Of course, they also happen to be some of our favourite fruits, and for about a year it was the only fruit one of our daughters would eat. Like literally…the ONLY fruit.
So, when cherries are everywhere, or on sale, we like to stock up. They keep pretty well for simple snacking, but even when they are a few days past their prime we don’t let even one go to waste. Baking with cherries, making our cherry and chocolate chunk no churn ice cream, or canning the classic Greek spoon sweet with cherries, are all great ways to use up cherries that are still great, but perhaps not perfect.
This recipe for our cherry and coconut brown butter tart is inspired by a recipe found on Smitten Kitchen. When we first started our blog, we referred to Deb (the creator of Smitten Kitchen) as our hero…and we still do! We were thrilled to have had the chance to meet her in Cleveland a couple of years ago during the Saveur Blog Awards. Be sure to check out her original recipe as well, which itself is inspired by a brown butter raspberry tart she found on Bon Appetit! Isn’t the internet wonderful?!
What exactly is brown butter?
Brown butter (sometimes referred to as burnt butter) is butter which is melted and then cooked over a medium heat until it turns a brown colour and has a nutty and toasty fragrance. It is a huge flavour enhancer (we love to pour it over cooked rice). Although it is sometimes referred to as burnt butter – it is not burnt at all (that would give a bitter unpleasant flavour).
The key to making brown butter is to watch it carefully and to use a medium heat. It is also really helpful to use a pot which is light coloured; that way you can observe any colour change easily.
Don’t leave your butter and tend to anything else (for example, pitting your cherries while your butter is cooking is not a good idea) because it can go from great to gross quite quickly.
Want more fruit filled desserts? How about these:
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Things you might need:
Cherry and coconut brown butter tart
- tart pan (we used a 14 x 4 inch rectangular tart pan)
- Cherry pitter, optional
For the crust
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) light brown sugar
- ¾ cup (110 grams) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (or ¼ tsp vanilla powder)
- cooking spray to coat the bottom of the tart pan
For the filling
- ½ cup (115 grams) butter, unsalted
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- 2 eggs, large
- ¼ cup (37 grams) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (50 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved approximately
To make the crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use cooking spray to lightly coat the bottom of your tart pan.
- In a medium size bowl mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder and vanilla extract until well combined using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon.
- Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan, using your fingers to ensure that the crust is evenly dispersed.
- Use the tines of a fork to poke holes across the bottom of the crust dough and then bake in the center rack of your oven for 15 - 18 minutes until lightly browned. The dough may puff up slightly.
- Transfer the crust to a rack to cool, but keep the oven temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make the filling
- Melt and cook the butter in a pot over medium high heat, stirring regularly. You have to watch the butter carefully because it will go from browned to burnt quickly. It is best to use a white or light coloured pot if you have one so that you can really see the colour change in the butter as it cooks. You want your butter to be brown, and smell nutty. This will take about 5 minutes.
- Once you have achieved the desired colour of your butter, transfer it immediately to a glass bowl or measuring cup to cool.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the sugar, eggs, flour, and coconut.
- Whisking continuously, begin to slowly pour in the cooled browned butter. Set aside.
- Arrange the cherries, cut side down, onto your cooked tart crust. Although you can decide on the pattern and how many cherry halves you want to include, be sure to leave space between each of them.
- Pour the brown butter mixture carefully and evenly over the cherries.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You will notice that the batter puffs up and comes up partially over the cherries.
- Allow to cool for about 5 minutes on a cooling rack and then remove the tart ring.
- Use a very sharp knife to slice pieces when the tart is almost completely cooled.