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14 Savory-Pancake Recipes for Any Time of Day

14 Savory-Pancake Recipes for Any Time of Day

[Collage photographs: Morgan Eisenberg, J. Kenji López-Alt, Vicky Wasik] We take pancakes very, very seriously at Serious Eats—whatever form they may assume. Though we love a stack of classic American pancakes drenched in maple syrup as much as anyone, it’s just one of many versions […]

The Best Burritos in San Francisco

The Best Burritos in San Francisco

I have a theory that the life of every San Franciscan, native or new, can be chronicled in burritos. There’s the First Burrito, the Worst Burrito, (many) Late-Night Drunk Burritos, the Beloved Burrito, the Convenient Burrito—and many of these, of course, change over the years, […]

19 Sweet and Savory Recipes That Use Brown Butter

19 Sweet and Savory Recipes That Use Brown Butter

Brown Butter Recipe Collage

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Vicky Wasik.]

Brown butter is one of the most versatile flavor-boosting ingredients around. Thankfully, it’s easy-as-can-be to make. Starting with a regular block of butter, simmer off excess water, wait for the milk proteins to toast and brown, and you’ll have a big batch of rich, nutty brown butter ready to cook with in just a few minutes.

While plain butter has a relatively neutral flavor, brown butter tastes much deeper and more complex. That makes it a great addition to everything from pasta sauces, risotto, and popcorn, to brownies, shortbread cookies, and fluffy cakes. These are our 19 favorite ways to use brown butter, and bring even more flavor to already delicious sweet and savory dishes.

Savory Dishes

Homemade Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Ravioli With Sage Brown Butter Sauce

[Photograph: Niki Achitoff-Gray]

Homemade ravioli stuffed with a funky and sweet mixture of butternut squash and blue cheese are great on their own, but a sauce of brown butter and frizzled sage takes this dish up a notch, offering the needed richness to cut through salty cheese and sweet squash.

Homemade Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Ravioli With Sage Brown Butter Sauce Recipe »

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Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Tamale pie is one of those all-in-one classic comfort foods that doesn’t really need to be improved upon. Our recipe stays true to the dish’s roots, while using an olive-packed vegetarian chili as the base of the dish. Browning butter for the cornbread crust gives the dish an additional nutty layer of flavor.

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust Recipe »

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Ricotta and Black Pepper Gnudi With Sage and Brown Butter

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

While Kenji is known for testing recipes and adjusting variables until a recipe is absolutely foolproof, he marked this recipe pretty-much-perfect-as-is. A thin wall of pasta holds in a core of creamy sheep’s milk ricotta, drowned in a rich brown butter and sage sauce. It doesn’t get much better.

Ricotta and Black Pepper Gnudi With Sage and Brown Butter Recipe »

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Seared Sea Scallops With Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

[Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton]

Brown butter is a great complement to scallops, which are relatively mild on their own. Here, a brown butter and lemon sauce is spooned over a rich and creamy leek risotto and beautifully seared scallops.

Seared Sea Scallops With Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce Recipe »

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French-Style Brown Butter New Potatoes

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

To make this simple French-inspired dish, small new potatoes are gently cooked in plenty of brown butter. The tender potatoes are sprinkled with sea salt, finely chopped chives, and tangy crème fraîche, which cuts through the butter.

French-Style Brown Butter New Potatoes Recipe »

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Pasta With Butternut Squash and Sage Brown Butter

[Video: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Part of what makes brown butter such a great ingredient is how much flavor it can contribute to a super-simple dish. Here it’s paired with sautéed squash, sage, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a bit of cracked black pepper.

Pasta With Butternut Squash and Sage Brown Butter Recipe »

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Moist and Tender Brown Butter Cornbread

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

This cornbread is moist and tender, with the intensely corn-y flavor that a great cornbread must have. Brown butter incorporated into the batter adds just a little bit of depth and richness, making this just as good plain as it is with a bowl of chili.

Moist and Tender Brown Butter Cornbread Recipe »

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Brown Butter Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Brown butter and rosemary add a savory note to these roasted sweet potatoes, so they balance between savory and sweet. The brown butter is enriched with reduced chicken stock, to give the simple dish an umami kick.

Brown Butter Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes Recipe »

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Brown-Butter Maple Popcorn With Pecans

[Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

If there is a single food more satisfying than butter-drenched popcorn, it’s brown butter-drenched popcorn. Rich brown butter and maple syrup are cooked into a quick caramel, which is used both to candy pecans for the topping and to coat the freshly popped kernels.

Brown-Butter Maple Popcorn With Pecans Recipe »

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Oatmeal and Brown Butter Pancakes

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Whether you consider pancakes a sweet or savory dish is entirely dependent on how much maple syrup you douse them in. These ones feature toasted oats, brown butter, slightly tart buttermilk, and a texture so light you won’t even realize you’ve already eaten six.

Oatmeal and Brown Butter Pancakes Recipe »

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Overnight Brown-Butter Yeast-Raised Waffles

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Since these waffles need an overnight rise, you can’t exactly roll out of bed and start cooking, but you’ll have these on your mind so often it’s quite likely you’ll have prepped them the night before. Since the batter comes together in five minutes, they’re a low lift project to start on a late night. They cook up crisp on the outside, and fluffy to the center. The slow, overnight interaction of water and flour leaves them chewy, and the brown butter gives them a nuttiness perfectly balanced by maple syrup and whipped cream.

Overnight Brown-Butter Yeast-Raised Waffles Recipe »

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Sweet Dishes

White Cake With Brown Butter and Toasted Sugar

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Browning butter and toasting sugar might take a little extra time, but the two flavor-enhancing ingredients transform a regular white cake into something extraordinary. 

White Cake With Brown Butter and Toasted Sugar Recipe »

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BraveTart: Glossy Fudge Brownies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

These brownies are made with dark chocolate, high-fat Dutch cocoa powder, vanilla, and, yes, brown butter. The darkness of the chocolate combines with the powerful cocoa powder to give the brownies rich, deep chocolate flavor, while the brown butter cuts through some of the bitterness of the chocolate.

BraveTart: Glossy Fudge Brownies Recipe »

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Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Classic vanilla shortbread gets a boost of bold flavor from a combination of toasted sugar, malted milk powder, and brown butter—a powerful trio. The resulting cookie is deceptively simple, with the kind of nutty, caramelized flavor you’d expect from butterscotch candies.

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies Recipe »

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Lacy Brown Butter and Ricotta Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Lacy ricotta cookies are as much about texture as they are about taste—though they show out on both fronts. The cookies are ever so slightly crisp around the edges, and chewy in the center. Brown butter worked into the batter contrasts the creamy, sweet ricotta with a little bit of caramelized nuttiness.

Lacy Brown Butter and Ricotta Cookies Recipe »

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Brown Butter Carrot Cake From “BraveTart”

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Brown butter features prominently in all of these recipes, but we aren’t just throwing it around willy nilly. In this carrot cake, brown butter complements the earthiness of pecans, and complements the natural sweetness of carrots. Its toastiness also brings out the flavor of whole wheat flour, which gives the cake a fluffy and light consistency.

Brown Butter Carrot Cake From “BraveTart” Recipe »

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Nutella and Brown Butter Rugelach With Peanuts and Vanilla Glaze

[Photograph: Emily Dryden]

The dough for these rugelach contains cream cheese, which gives the pastry a tangy flavor. The baked rugelach are bronzed and—thanks to chilled cubes of brown butter—particularly flaky, too.

Nutella and Brown Butter Rugelach With Peanuts and Vanilla Glaze Recipe »

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Brown Butter Cake With Brown Butter Frosting

[Photograph: Nila Jones]

If we haven’t yet successfully expressed how much we love brown butter, let this recipe act as proof: brown butter cake with brown butter frosting. The cake is dense and moist with an intense and satisfying brown butter flavor, and the glaze offers even more of that nutty richness.

Brown Butter Cake With Brown Butter Frosting Recipe »

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

We make a lot of cookies here at Serious Eats HQ, so trust us when we say these really are some of the best cookies around. They have crisp edges, big chunks of melty chocolate, and a rich, toffee-like flavor thanks to brown butter. These might not be the quickest chocolate chip cookies, but they’re well worth your time.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe »

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All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.

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The Food Lab Video Series: Emulsions

The Food Lab Video Series: Emulsions

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik. Video: Written by J. Kenji López-Alt; produced by Chris Mohney and Nick Perron-Siegel] Editor’s Note: Several years ago, we produced a Food Lab video series for Serious Eats. The only problem? It lived behind a paywall, and almost nobody got to see […]

Your Friday Moment of Zen

Your Friday Moment of Zen

[Illustration: Biodiversity Heritage Library] You did it! Another week down! We’re putting up a post very much like this one every Friday afternoon, to celebrate the fact that the week is done. Down with lame weekdays! Up with not-lame weekend days! We think of this […]

Deals Week, The Finale: Tilit, Snowe, and Craighill

Deals Week, The Finale: Tilit, Snowe, and Craighill

Small(er) Business Deals Week is coming to an end. We hope you’ve enjoyed a week’s worth of deals and picked up a few things to make cooking at home more efficient (and fun)—supporting some great small businesses in the process.

In case you’re just here for the first time, here’s how it works: We’ve secured exclusive discounts with some of our favorite brands, just for Serious Eats readers. Each day’s deals start at noon Eastern Time and last for 24 hours only.

Our final day is full of great deals toward stylish and functional aprons, really nice home goods, and some very fashion-forward barware.

20% Off Tilit Contra Aprons With Code CONTRA20

We’ve long relied on Tilit for their good-looking and functional aprons. (There’s a whole stack of them in the office to prove it.) We love that they’re lightweight for extra-hot kitchens, and that they’re adjustable, since some of us are taller than others. The leather clasp, which snaps on and off for easy washing, is pretty handsome, making these aprons a hit whether we’re sweating over the fire or shooting a video.

Click here to get 20% off Tilit Contra Aprons with code CONTRA20

15% Off Everything at Snowe With Code EATS15

Snowe is the kind of website that makes us want to redo our whole home. Lots of clean lines; lots of white; zero chaos. Unfortunately, it can be a little pricey, which is why we’re pretty excited about today’s deal. If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen or perhaps get a wedding gift for a food-loving friend, now would be the time. The servingware is particularly nice, as is the drinkware.
Though, if you’re in the market for a sheet set, they’ve got that too.

Click here to get 15% off at Snowe with code EATS15

15% Off Craighill With Code EATS15

Speaking of a bart-cart upgrade, Craighill’s elegant bottle openers make for gorgeous gifts and home improvements. Each piece is a little work of art. We especially love the Trophy bottle opener that could just as easily live on your bar or a bookshelf. And their handsome wooden catch-alls would make us feel a whole lot better about our clutter.

Click here to get 15% off Craighill with code EATS15

Not in the mood to shop? Enter our giveaway for a chance to win all sorts of prizes from our Deals Week participants! Click here to enter. Our Standard Contest Rules apply.

Editor’s Note: All deals are subject to product availability.

All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.

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Special Sauce: Kenji on Cooking With Starch, Simone Tong on the Ingredient She Hates

Special Sauce: Kenji on Cooking With Starch, Simone Tong on the Ingredient She Hates

[Simone Tong photograph: Courtesy of Little Tong Noodle Shop. Mixian photograph: Vivian Kong] This week’s Special Sauce kicks off with our new culinary Q&A segment, “Ask Kenji.” This time around, Kenji schools us and serious eater Paul Anderson on the differences between cornstarch and flour […]

French Onion Soup Tarte Tatin Recipe

French Onion Soup Tarte Tatin Recipe

1. If using pie dough: Prepare Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough according to the recipe. After rolling, folding, and dividing dough in half, roll one portion into a 10-inch round. Transfer to a large, flat plate lined with parchment, or another similar arrangement. Working around circumference, […]

This Savory Tarte Tatin Is French Onion Soup in a Tart

This Savory Tarte Tatin Is French Onion Soup in a Tart

Placing pie dough round over onions and grated Gruyère in a skillet for tarte Tatin.

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

The arrival of colder weather means it’s time to get back to comforting hearty food, and the French have that category covered. I’ve started planning my meals for an upcoming trip to Paris over the holidays, and my mind started wandering to classic bistro dishes like steak au poivre.

These daydreaming moments often end up as recipe brainstorming sessions for me, and I soon had an idea stuck in my mind: what if I mashed up French onion soup and classic tarte Tatin into a savory onion tart with the flavors of the classic soup?

Overhead of finished tarte tatin on a yellow serving plate.

Full disclosure: I don’t love French onion soup or apple tarte Tatin. I usually find the soup to be way too heavy, and I’m over it after a few bites. And I’m not a big fan of soft, cooked apples, especially when they get sweetened even more with caramel. But this tart idea I could get behind.

I love the interplay of bitter and sweet in caramelized onions, and who doesn’t love a buttery tart crust? Throw in some gooey Gruyère and meaty stock and I am all in. So I got to work to figure out the best way to make this delicious Francostein monster.

The Crust: Pie or Puff?

Rolling out pie dough

For the crust of a tarte Tatin, you can decide whether to make dough from scratch, or take the quick and easy route by using frozen puff pastry. I’m not a professional baker, nor am I here to throw shade at the store-bought crowd, but I will happily push the BraveTart agenda: Stella’s old-fashioned flaky pie dough makes the best French onion tarte Tatin.

A slice of tarte tatin sprinkled with chives on a small plate, with a ramekin of chives and the rest of the tart on the side.

I tested with both throughout the recipe development process, and tasters unanimously preferred tarts made with pie dough over puff pastry. The pie dough tarts were more cohesive; the crust has structure and a pleasant chew, and it melds seamlessly with the caramelized onions and melty Gruyère cheese.

A finished puff pastry tarte Tatin

The puff pastry versions are a little more disjointed: The onions don’t set in the pastry as well during the baking process, and the less-porous puff pastry traps more steam from the onions, which hinders browning and makes them softer in the process. That said, the tart is still real tasty even when made with puff pastry. And the process for preparing the crust is pretty much the same for both pie dough and puff pastry.

Photo collage of rolling out pie dough and trimming it into a round by using an inverted skillet as a guide.

I start by rolling out the dough (half a batch of Stella’s pie dough or one sheet of thawed puff pastry) on a well-floured board until it’s large enough to cut out a 10-inch round. An inverted skillet (the same one you will use for the tart itself) is a good guide for trimming the dough circle.

Photo collage of a round of pie dough being transferred to a piece of parchment set on an inverted rimmed baking sheet.

Brush off excess flour from the dough and, with the help of your rolling pin, transfer the round to an inverted baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Crimping the pie dough round to make a raised edge, and a 9-inch dough circle.

Working around the edge of the dough, fold over a 1/2-inch border of dough, pinching it together to form a raised rim, which will help keep the onions contained and in place for the tart. Once you have completed this step, your crust should be 9 inches in diameter.

Docking puff pastry round with a fork

It’s important to “dock” the dough (baking-speak for poking holes in it) to allow some steam to escape during baking; cut three slits in the crust if using pie dough, and for puff pastry you can poke the round all over with a fork. Pop the sheet tray in the fridge to chill the dough while you work on the onion filling.

The Onions: Sweet, Small, or Savory?

Closeup side view of finished tarte tatin on a serving platter.

For his French onion soup recipe, Daniel recommends going with a mix of allium varieties for a soup with the most complex flavor. I briefly entertained the idea of trying to mix and match alliums for this tart, but realized early on that it would just further complicate an already involved recipe. I needed to simplify as much as possible and go with one type of onion, so I began testing with Daniel’s recommended all-purpose variety: yellow onions.

Photo collage of three early test batches of onion tarte tatin. The first is made with yellow onions, chicken stock, and has Dijon mustard spread on the underside of the crust. The second is made with yellow onions and beef stock. The third is made with vidalia onions and chicken stock.

Unlike Goldilocks, I quickly realized that my first choice was just right. Yellow onions have a middle-of-the-road allium flavor, neither too sweet nor too harsh, and a relatively low moisture content that makes them great for caramelizing, and their manageable size ended up being ideal for tart-building.

After spending way too long peeling dozens of cute cipolline and shallots for initial test tarts, I knew it would be cruel to subject people to that tear-inducing monotony. I wanted something more appealing and less a-peeling. With tiny alliums out of contention, I ran a side-by-side test comparing tarts made with yellow onions and Vidalias, and as suspected, the Vidalia tarte Tatin veered into too-sweet territory.

The Filling: Caramel or Caramelized?

Photo collage of cutting onions into wedges for the tarte tatin. After halving and peeled the onions, carefully cut away the scraggly part of the root end, leaving the white part of the root end still attached. The onions are then cut into wedges that are kept intact through the root end.

Once I had the winning onion, I had to figure out the amount to use, and three small-ish yellow onions ended up fitting the bill (look for onions that weight about half a pound each, and are about 3 inches in diameter). I knew that I needed larger onion pieces with a flat surface to stand in for the fruit in a classic Tatin, so I started by cutting two onions into wedges through the root end, keeping the root attached but trimming off the scraggly part at the very end. Two onions will give you 16 wedges, the perfect amount for fitting into a 10-inch skillet.

Two onions cut into wedges and one sliced thin for the tarte tatin.

In a classic Tatin, the fruit releases pectin-rich juices as it cooks on the stovetop, creating a glossy, sticky caramel with the butter and sugar in the skillet, which then binds the fruit together in the tart. Onions aren’t as rich in pectin as apples, and don’t cook down as readily, so I needed to find a way to recreate that binding effect without making the tart overly sweet in the process.

Tarte Tatins from the first round of testing.

For my first round of testing, I tried two different methods to achieve this result. One was to make a wet caramel, using onion juice (purée raw onions with a little water, or use a juicer) instead of water, that I then loosened with chicken stock. This was a little trick I had picked up from one of the restaurants I worked at, where we made an onion caramel-chicken jus.

When the onion caramel is combined with an intense restaurant-style jus, everything works together—the sweetness of the caramel balanced by the savory intensity of the ultra-reduced, wine-fortified stock. This quick at-home version ended up being too sweet, because store-bought chicken stock doesn’t have enough savory intensity to stand up to the caramel. This tart wasn’t meant to be dessert, so I ditched the onion caramel.

Caramelized onions cooked to a jammy consistency.

My second approach was to make a jammy caramelized onion filling to nestle into the negative space between the onion wedges in the tart. I needed to also find a way to incorporate the other flavors of French onion soup—meaty stock, sherry, thyme—into the tart, and this caramelized onion mixture proved to be the vehicle for those flavors, too.

Adding thinly sliced onions to a saucepan with melted butter.

Start by thinly slicing the third onion, and sweating it in a saucepan with a little butter. Normally, I like to take the time to slowly cook a proper batch of caramelized onions, but when you’re only cooking one onion, you can speed up the process.

Photo collage showing progression of sliced onions caramelizing in a saucepan.

Lightly season the onion with salt to help coax out its liquid, and cook it over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. The onions will begin to stick and form a brown fond on the bottom of the pan, which you’ll loosen by adding a tablespoon or two of water at a time and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pot.

Adding sherry and chicken stock to caramelized onions.

Keep repeating this process until the onions are soft, sweet, and a deep golden brown, and then deglaze them one last time with dry sherry instead of water. Next, add in some stock (chicken or beef, more on that in a minute), and cook it down until the onions are jammy, and the liquid has reduced to just coat the onions.

Photo collage of finishing steps for caramelized onion mixture. Adding cider vinegar, fish sauce, chopped thyme, and then cooking onions down until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

Finish them with a splash of cider vinegar and fish sauce (an optional background savory boost), and some chopped thyme leaves. Once there is very little liquid left in the saucepan, set the onions aside to cool while you build the tart.

The Stock: Chicken or Beef?

Overhead of finished tarte tatin on a yellow serving plate with a ramekin of chives next to it and a small blue plate.

A quick aside on what kind of stock you should use for this tart. The short answer: whichever meaty stock you have available. I tested with our homemade beef stock as well as with two varieties of store-bought chicken and beef stocks.

They all worked, and tasters were not able to distinguish between them, which makes sense seeing as there is very little stock that goes into the onions (compared with the amount that goes into a batch of French onion soup). For store-bought stock, just make sure you go with a low-sodium option, or else you will have to be much more careful with seasoning so that the tart doesn’t end up too salty.

The Skillet: Stainless Steel or Cast Iron?

Photo collage comparing a tarte tatin made in a stainless steel skillet vs. one made in a cast iron skillet.

For building the tart, you will need a 10-inch skillet that needs to be oven-safe. You can decide whether to use cast iron or stainless steel, depending on your eyesight and arm-strength. You need to be able to keep an eye on how dark the sugar gets as it caramelizes in the skillet, and this is much easier to track on the shiny grey of stainless steel than on the black matte finish of cast iron.

Onions cooking and sugar caramelizing in a cast iron skillet and a stainless steel skillet.

After baking, you also need to be able to invert the skillet over a plate. Cast iron is a lot heavier than stainless steel, so it’s worth testing your comfort with some skillet bicep curls before you start building your tart.

Photo collage of four finished tarte tatins. Top left: stainless steel skillet, pie crust. Top right: cast iron skillet, pie crust (this one has the deepest and most even caramelization). Bottom left: stainless steel skillet, pie crust, and used toasted sugar. Bottom right: stainless steel skillet, puff pastry crust.

Despite being heavier and harder to see into, cast iron does achieve deeper and more even caramelization on the onions in the tart. If you can bear the weight, I’d recommend going with cast iron. Stainless steel won’t let you down though, and can still give you excellent tart results. Unfortunately, due to their flared shape, 10-inch carbon steel skillet don’t have as much surface area as most stainless or cast iron skillets, so they can’t be swapped in without altering the recipe.

Photo collage showing preparing skillet for the onion wedges by smearing it with butter and sprinkling with sugar and salt.

Once you have your skillet of choice, smear it with a few tablespoons of softened butter and then evenly sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over the butter.

Photo collage of onion wedges being placed into a skillet that has been buttered and sprinkled with sugar and salt.

After a light seasoning of salt and pepper, I arrange the onion wedges in a tight formation in the skillet, making sure they are in even contact with the pan. Arranging them in an unheated pan is way easier than trying to nestle in the onions after melting the butter and sugar together in a skillet. As you may have noticed in one of the photo collages above, I tested tarts using Stella’s toasted sugar to see if it would lead to deeper flavor and more even caramelization. With only one tablespoon of sugar in the recipe, the effects weren’t noticeable. If you have a batch of toasted sugar kicking around in your pantry, you can certainly use it, but it won’t make or break the tart.

Cooking onion wedges over high heat in a skillet.

Cook the onion wedges on high heat, without stirring the skillet, until the sugar turns a deep amber color. Stove burners don’t heat evenly, so you will need to move the skillet around to promote even browning.

Spooning caramelized onion mixture in between onion wedges in the skillet.

Spoon the caramelized onion mixture in the spaces between the onion wedges, and continue cooking just long enough to meld everything together.

Photo collage of sprinkling cheese over the onions in the skillet, and topping with the round of pie dough before transferring the skillet to the oven.

Top the onions with a handful of shredded Gruyère, and then pop the dough lid over the whole deal. You don’t want the crust to be sticking to the sides of the skillet, as that will make it hard to unmold after baking.

Photo collage of spreading Dijon mustard on pie crust before placing it in the skillet with the onions.

If you want some subtle acidity and bite in your tart, you can spread some Dijon mustard on the underside of the crust before you place it in the skillet. I tested the tarts with and without mustard, and liked how the subtle heat of the mustard offsets some of the sweetness from the onions.

The Bake and the Flip: Golden or Dark, Cool or Warm?

A pie dough tarte Tatin baked in a stainless steel skillet

I found that it’s important to bake the crust to a deep golden brown for this tart. If you pull it out of the oven while the crust is still blond, it will turn soggy once the tart has been inverted and has to support the weight of the onions. So let the crust take on plenty of color before you take the tart out of the oven.

Photo collage of process of inverting and unmolding tarte tatin onto a serving plate.

Unfortunately, the most stressful part of the recipe comes at the very end, when it’s time to invert the skillet to release the tart onto a plate. While it may be tempting to let the tart cool completely in the skillet before attempting the flip, don’t. If you let the tart cool for too long, the sugar will harden, and unmolding will become a lot trickier.

Let the skillet cool for just a few minutes, and then get your flip on. The key here is confidence. Know that it will release, and you will be a tart champion. Get a large plate, secure it over the skillet, and then invert it confidently. Let gravity do it’s thing, rather than trying to shake it loose if it doesn’t release instantly. You’ll feel it when the plate gets heavier, and you uncover your masterpiece.

Overhead of finished tarte tatin on a yellow serving plate with a ramekin of chives next to it and a small blue plate.

As with your bags in an overhead luggage bin, some onions may have shifted during flight, so now is the time to rearrange any that have fallen out of place. Slide the tart onto a wire rack to finish cooling (otherwise you risk steaming the bottom crust). Once the tart has cooled down, you’re good to slice, but make sure you show off your tart skills to guests before serving. Then blow everyone away with your French soup in a tart costume.

Side view of a slice of tarte tatin on a small plate with the rest of the tarte tatin in the background.

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Deals Week, Day 4: Valrhona and The BoardSmith

Deals Week, Day 4: Valrhona and The BoardSmith

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik] It’s day four of Small(er) Business Deals Week! We hope you’ve been enjoying the exclusive discounts we’ve offered the past few days—and we have plenty left to share. In case you’re new to this, here’s the rundown: Each day’s deals will start […]