Have you ever had browned butter? Browned butter is one of those things that elevates any recipe. In fact, it almost feels like cheating…like improving things by adding bacon or chocolate (or both).
Cookies are good, right? Well, how about BROWNED BUTTER COOKIES?
Mmmm…I like ice cream. How about BROWNED BUTTER ICE CREAM?
Hey, is that pasta salad? No, it’s BROWNED BUTTER PASTA SALAD!
You get the idea. Butter is already like level 10 delicious, so what happens when we take level ten delicious and caramelize the creamy milk solids that are inside of it? MAAAAAAGIIIIIIIC. Magic is what happens. Nutty. Sweet. Rich. Luxurious and BUTTERY. In other words, level 10 + infinity delicious.
Usually, I think about adding browned butter to recipes that already call for melted butter. BUT, what about recipes with chilled butter? What if you could infuse a recipe like simple flaky pie crust with the nutty browned butter magic?
Browned Butter Pie Crust!
I threw a last minute pumpkin filling in this shell and baked it, but you could really do anything. I’m planning on trying this with pecan filling when the holidays come around again. Apple, pear, peach, toffee, banana cream, coconut cream, oh my!
I may never make regular flaky pie crust again!
Browning butter does take a little practice, but as long as you watch it closely and swirl it a lot, you should be fine!
It goes from this…
very quickly, so make sure to pull it off the stove top as soon as it’s golden brown.
I loved the way that the butter cubes looked after I took them out of the freezer
Because all of the browned bits ended up at the bottom of the pan, each cube that I poured got progressively darker on the bottom. I could have stirred it all up between each pour, but I don’t think it would make much difference in the end result.
That last butter cube is almost black!
If you had put this bowl of chopped up butter pieces in front of me and told me they were gouda cheese chunks, I wouldn’t have even questioned you.
Be sure to work fast when you’re rolling out your pie crust so the butter doesn’t melt. The colder the butter, the flakier your pie crust will be. If you’re working in a hot kitchen, you may even want to refrigerate everything (flour, vinegar, bowl, spatula, food processor bowl and blade) before you mix the crust. It’ll buy you a little time before everything starts to melt.
Have you ever made recipes that use chilled, browned butter? Please share if you have!
- 14 tbl unsalted butter
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour + more for rolling out crust
- ½ tsp salt
- 7 tbl ice water
- 1 tbl white vinegar
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and swirl occasionally until it is browned. Don't stir with any kind of tool. Just pick up the saucepan and swirl to keep the milk solids from sticking and burning. This should take about 10 minutes. You want to remove the butter as soon as it gets golden brown. If you don't pay attention, it will burn very quickly.
- Let butter cool slightly and pour into ice cube mold. Once butter has cooled down to almost room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and put in the freezer. Chill for at least one hour.
- Once butter has chilled thoroughly, cut into smaller pieces, about the size of dimes, and put in refrigerator until you use them.
- Add flour and salt to food processor and pule 2 or 3 times to combine.
- Add butter and pulse about 10-15 times, or until the biggest butter pieces are about the size of peas.
- While food processor is running, add water and vinegar to butter flour mixture and stop as soon as the liquid is incorporated.
- Separate dough into two parts and wrap each in separate sheets of plastic wrap. Shape each wrapped dough ball into a disc and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Pie crust is ready to roll out and use in any double crust recipe you can think of.