Caramel Tart

The ULTIMATE salted caramel tart made with a brown butter crust, fresh homemade salted caramel sauce and topped with the most luscious toasted brown sugar meringue. 

It’s that time of year again friends. Where family and friends come together to eat as much pie as they possibly could, it’s pie season! 

I know you can’t ever replace the classics like apple pie, pumpkin pie and pecan pie but if you’re willing to make room for a new pie at the dinner table this year, Danish Creamery and I believe this caramel tart is perfect. 

And if you have extra room for more new pies at the dinner table, you’ll want to try my pumpkin cheesecake, my mom’s rustic apple pie or this super indulgent chocolate hazelnut tart

Why you’ll love this caramel tart recipe

  • There’s like 7 total ingredients, including the salt. 
  • The sweetness of all the caramel is balanced with the savory notes from the brown butter crust, and the salt of course.
  • The perfect ‘make-ahead’ dessert, just top it with meringue the day of serving. Serves well cold or at room temperature. 

Ingredients & substitutions

  • Butter: Butter is a main flavor in the caramel and the crust so I used my absolute favorite, of course, Danish Creamery’s European Style Butter with Sea Salt. The butter’s 85% butterfat makes the caramel sauce rich and creamy while the salt really helps balance the sweetness.
  • Sugar: I used granulated sugar in the crust and in the caramel sauce. I don’t recommend substituting that.
    • I used brown sugar in the meringue for a little extra richness but both brown sugar and granulated sugar work for the meringue. 
  • Heavy Cream: use room temperature heavy cream or whipping cream so the hot sugar doesn’t splatter as much.
  • Flour: I used a little bit of all-purpose flour in the crust. I HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale to measure all the ingredients, especially flour. 
  • Eggs: Use large, room temperature egg whites for the meringue. You can also use pasteurized carton egg whites. 
  • Vanilla: I recommend vanilla bean paste or actual vanilla beans. If you’re in a pinch, pure vanilla extract works well too. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Brown the butter by heating a stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. It will melt, bubble, foam and then the milk solids will toast and settle on the bottom. Make sure to read my whole post on browning butter if you haven’t done it before. 

Step 2: Make the crust by combining the brown butter with the sugar and flour just until it looks like a dough. Spread it into a shallow greased tart pan and freeze until it’s solid.

Step 3: Blind bake the crust halfway with baking beads, then remove the beads and finish baking. Allow the crust to cool to room temperature.

Step 4: Make the caramel sauce by caramelizing sugar until it’s a dark amber color. Then stir in the butter followed by the heavy cream.

Stir in the salt and vanilla and allow it to cool until it’s not piping hot, about an hour. Pour on top of the cooled crust and allow it to cool completely. Refrigerate until the caramel is set. 

If you’ve never made caramel sauce, make sure to read my whole post on homemade salted caramel sauce

Step 5: Make the meringue by gently heating egg whites and sugar over a double boiler, just until the sugar is fully dissolved (eggs are considered safe at 160F (71C) if you’re worried about that). Then beat the egg whites and sugar for about 5 minutes until they’re super fluffy and no longer warm. 

Step 6: Spread meringue on top of the caramel and use a culinary torch to toast the top of the meringue. Serve fresh. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to brown the butter?

You don’t have to brown the butter to make this crust, however since browning butter reduces the overall volume, make sure to reduce the butter in the recipe from 113 grams to about 90-95 grams. 

Can I make a dairy free caramel tart?

Yup, you can use dairy free butter and cream to make the crust and the caramel sauce.

Can I make it gluten-free?

I haven’t tested it with this specific recipe but 1:1 gluten-free flours works for all of my recipes that I have tested so it should be fine. I like Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour

Can I make this in advance?

This caramel tart is perfect for making in advance because most of  it can be stored in the fridge for several days before serving. However, I recommend making the meringue fresh the day of serving. 

How to store tart

To refrigerate, cover the tart with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2-4 days. Serve cold or bring to room temperature 1-2 hours before serving. 

I don’t recommend freezing because meringues can easily separate and pie/tart crusts get soggy when they defrost. 

Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below. Make sure to leave it in the comment section because I can’t answer in the rating section.

If you make my gorgeous caramel tart, I’d love it if you left a star rating for me. If it’s less than five stars, please leave a comment with the rating so I know why! 🙂

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

Yield: 9" tart; 10-14 slices

Caramel Tart

slice of caramel tart with the fork going through

The ULTIMATE salted caramel tart made with a brown butter crust, fresh homemade salted caramel sauce and topped with the most luscious toasted brown sugar meringue. 

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Brown Butter

  • 1/2 cup (113g) Danish Creamery European Style Sea Salted Butter

Brown Butter Crust

  • the browned butter (93g), slightly cooled
  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Salted Caramel Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (56g) Danish Creamery European Style Sea Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120mL) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Meringue

  • 3 large eggs (120g) whites, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (135g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Brown Butter

  1. Brown the butter by heating a stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, while stirring intermittently. It will melt, bubble, foam and then the milk solids will toast and settle on the bottom. Make sure to read my whole post on browning butter if you haven’t done it before.
  2. Allow the butter to cool for 15-30 minutes so it’s not piping hot. Grease a shallow 9” tart pan and set it aside.

Crust

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown butter with the flour and sugar, mixing just until it looks like cookie dough. 
  2. Spread the dough into the prepared pan, bringing it up on the sides and trimming off any excess. Freeze until it’s solid, about 30 minutes.
  3. To blind bake the crust, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and then fill it with with pie weights (or dry beans or dry rice). Bake for about 16 minutes at 350F (177C), then remove the pie weights (I just pinch all four corners of the parchment together and light up. Bits of the crust will stick to the paper, you can scrape it off and press it back into your pie or just let it be if the crust looks fine). Finish baking for about 5-7 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Allow the crust to cool to room temperature.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Place the sugar and water in a medium size heavy bottom sauce pan. Swirl the pan until the sugar is immersed in water. Place the saucepan over medium heat and allow the sugar to fully dissolve in the water, gently swirling the pan every minute or so.
  2. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Place the lid on the pan and allow the mixture to simmer until the color begins to darken to a light amber color, this should take about 10 minutes. Make sure to remove the lid and check the color at least every minute.
  3. You can gently swirl the pan every couple of minutes but DO NOT STIR IT WITH ANYTHING. If there are crystalized pieces of sugar on the sides of the pan, the steam running down from the lid should dissolve them but if it doesn’t, you can use a pastry brush wet with water to brush them away.
  4. Once the sugar is a dark amber color, remove it from the heat. Stir in the butter until it’s melted, then add the heavy cream, whisking until the caramel is smooth. 
  5. Pour the caramel sauce in a heat proof jar and stir in the salt and vanilla extract.
  6. Allow it to cool until it’s not piping hot, about an hour. Then pour on top of the cooled crust and allow it to cool completely. Refrigerate until the caramel is set. 
  7. If you’ve never made caramel sauce, make sure to read my whole post on homemade salted caramel sauce

Brown Sugar Meringue

  1. Bring a small pot with 1/2 cup of water to a boil and lower the heat to simmer.
  2. Place the egg whites and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and place the bowl over the simmering water for 5-10 minutes, whisking intermittently until the granulated sugar is completely dissolved (if you’re taking a temperature, take the eggs up to 160F (71C).
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the bowl of egg whites from the heat. Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites with the sugar. 
  4. Beat for about 5 minutes on full speed and then add the vanilla, mixing just until it’s combined.
  5. Spread meringue on the tart and use a culinary torch to toast the top of the meringue. Serve fresh or refrigerate until serving. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

14

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 0gSugar: 34gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

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