Peach Melba Hand Tarts with Brown Butter Crust ~ #BakeTogether

by Kate on September 24, 2012

Post image for Peach Melba Hand Tarts with Brown Butter Crust ~ #BakeTogether

Let’s start with a little history, shall we? You may recall, last year at the end of October a very pregnant me hopped a train to NYC to meet up with some fabulous people to celebrate glorious pie. Yes, pie! The dynamic foodie duo of Jackie and Ken threw a pie party. Everyone brought one and some even brought two. I made an apple pear pie with a Gruyere crust. 80-some-odd pies later, we all were stuffed and happy. In attendance was the one and only, Abby Dodge. Abby brought what was one of my favorite items of the day, Brown Butter Apple Hand Tarts. Oh. My. Goodness!! They were amazing and the crust is what really did it for me. It was the best crust I’ve ever eaten. Honestly.

So imagine my excitement when Abby told us that this month for #BakeTogether we would be putting our own spin on that very recipe! I was elated but at the same time I was torn. There was no way I could improve upon what I deemed to be absolute perfection. My mind did not start racing with ideas of how to change this recipe. My mind firmly stated, “I don’t want to change a thing!” Alas, I needed to come up with something. I had some ripe peaches just begging to be included so that is the direction I headed.

I absolutely could not bring myself to change the crust. I couldn’t do it! As I mentioned, this is the best crust EVER! Brown butter and brown sugar make for a warm, sweet, slightly nutty flavor crust. As I set about the work of making my filling I remembered I had some raspberries in the fridge as well. Peaches and raspberries plus vanilla, viola! Peach melba in a hand-held pie! Serve it along side a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it even more reminiscent of the classic dessert. This little four bite pie is the perfect farewell to summer fruits.

Now it’s your turn! Come on and join in our virtual kitchen. Make this hand tarts or change it up with your own version then go tell Abby that you’d like to #BakeTogether too! Click HERE. Oh!! And this month there’s a #BakeTogether giveaway! Abby is giving away two copies of her new cookbook, Mini Treats & Handheld Sweets to all participants. So this is a great time to join in!



One Year Ago: Jam Filled Muffins

Peach Melba Hand Tarts with Brown Butter Crust

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 18 hand tarts

Peach Melba Hand Tarts with Brown Butter Crust

A slightly sweet, brown butter crust envelopes peaches, raspberries and a hint of vanilla in the peach melba hand tarts.


    For the dough:
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • For the filling:
  • 2 peaches, peeled and diced very small
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For assembly:
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Turbanado or demerara or sanding sugar


    Make the brown butter dough:
  1. Put the butter in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until nutty brown and the milk solids are dark brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Slide the pan from the heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar is almost dissolved, then set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using your fingertip, check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm but not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a few more minutes before continuing with the recipe.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
  4. Add the flour and stir until a smooth, soft dough forms.
  5. Arrange two pieces of plastic wrap on the counter and scrape the dough onto the center of one. Divide the dough in half (about 14 3/4 ounces each) and put half on the second piece of plastic wrap. Form each half into a small disk.Wrap in the plastic and set aside at room temperature until firm enough to roll, about 3 hours. (You can pop the dough into the refrigerator for a hour or so, but you don’t want the dough to be too chilled. It will be impossible to roll.)
  6. Make the filling:
  7. Combine the peaches, raspberries, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla bean seeds. (Save the bean pod for another use.) Gently mix. Add the cornstarch and gently mix again.
  8. Assemble and bake:
  9. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick liners. Put the egg and water in a small bowl and mix until well blended using a fork.
  10. Working with one piece of dough at a time, place the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment. Lay a second sheet on top (this dough is soft, so the parchment is a must for successful rolling), roll out to a rectangle slightly larger than 9×15 inches.
  11. Using a sharp paring knife or a fluted roller and a ruler, trim the edges to get a neat 9×15-inch rectangle, then cut into 3 x 2 1/2-inch rectangles (for a total of 18 rectangles) or use a round cookie cutter to cut 18 circles. Reroll the scraps as necessary and repeat. Arrange each round or rectangle about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and cover with plastic. Roll out and cut the second piece of dough as you did the first one.
  12. Uncover the dough on one of the cookie sheets. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the peach raspberry filling onto the center of each pieces of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the edges.
  13. Using a small pastry brush, brush the edges of each rectangle with egg wash. Lay the remaining dough pieces over the filling.
  14. Using the tines of a fork, press the pastry edges to seal. Lightly brush the top of each hand tart with egg wash. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, cut 2 small slits in the top of each hand tart to let steam escape.
  15. Sprinkle the tops with some of the turbanado sugar and slide the cookie sheets into the fridge while the oven heats up.
  16. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  17. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the tarts are dark brown on the edges, 19 to 21 minutes.
  18. Move the sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the tarts from the sheet and set them on a wire rack and let cool until warm or cool completely. The tarts are best when served at room temperature or slightly warmed.
  19. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
  20. Enjoy!


Plus chilling time.

Adapted from Abby Dodge

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica@AKitchenAddiction September 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm

That crust sounds fantastic!


Kate September 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

BEST CRUST EVER!!! Honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to add anything to it or take anything away to make it my own because it’s perfection just the way it is. It was the best part of these hand tarts.


Carrie @ poet in the pantry September 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m still trying really hard to make these this month. I need to see for myself how fantastic that crust is… 🙂 Sad I missed Pie Party last year, but so looking forward to it this year! We’ll both be in much better shape to get around, too. 🙂


Kate September 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Even if you miss out on #BakeTogether this month, you should definitely give Abby’s recipe a go. It’s phenomenal! And I’m so glad you’ll be at pie party this year!


Julia September 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Those hand tarts look beautiful! Labor intensive though? The BakeTogether event looks interesting!


Kate September 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Thank you so much, Julia! I’m so glad you like them. And no, these little pies were certainly not labor intensive at all. Easy as pie 😉 You should definitely join us for BakeTogether! It truly is probably my favorite monthly project with Twelve Loaves being a close second. So much fun! And a wonderful group of people that come together each month.


Anna @ hiddenponies September 26, 2012 at 2:01 am

You have totally sold me on that crust, it sounds amazing! Love the idea of a pie party!


Kate September 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Oh yes! The pie party was SO much fun! This year’s party is coming up next month and I cannot wait 🙂 And BEST crust EVER!


kelly @ kellybakes September 28, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Peach & raspberry are a winning combo in my book! I was going to comment sooner, but I’ve been gawking at your photos on foodgawker & tastespotting. Gorgeous stuff! I’m excited that you’re going to the #PieParty–I’ll see you there! 🙂


Kate September 29, 2012 at 8:37 am

Thanks so much Kelly! And I’m so glad to hear you’ll be going to Pie Party. I’ll be looking forward to meeting you!!


Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life May 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I love these cute little pies! They sound delicious.


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