Cardamom and Brown Butter Nectarine Tart

Worth it for the smell alone.

Cardamom and Brown Butter Nectarine Tart
Caution: Production of this dessert may lead to a decrease in productivity related to ridiculously delicious kitchen smells as evidenced by inability to focus on anything else.

I’m a sucker for cardamom, browned butter, and stone fruit, so it’s no surprise that this dessert really does it for me. Usually I make crusts with cold diced butter for better flakiness, but the melted butter in this tart crust makes for a very crunchy, more caramelized flavor and texture that’s great with the fruit filling. Using half almond meal in the crust produces great flavor and texture, but the crust falls apart a bit more easily. Amp up the cardamom amount for more intensely cardamommy flavor if you desire!

Try making the crust with 1/2 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour for a deliciously nutty twist.
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus one pinch salt
  • 1 large egg

  • 10 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground with mortar and pestle (green pods are the freshest and most flavorful)

  • 3 large nectarines, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla. Add 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt and stir until incorporated.

Transfer dough to a 9” tart pan (preferably with removable bottom). Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto sides and bottom of pan. (I use a 1/3 cup measurer to smooth the crust out)

Bake crust until golden, about 18 minutes (crust will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. 

Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup sugar, egg, and pinch of salt. Add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk until smooth. 

Cook remaining 1/4 cup butter and ground cardamom in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often, about 6 minutes. 

Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup. 

Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture, until well blended.

Arrange fruit in concentric circles in bottom of cooled crust. Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over the top and bake until filling is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. 

Serve at room temperature or cold, with or without a creamy side such as ice cream, creme fraîche, or whipped cream.