Raspberry browned butter pie

As the food editor at Parents Canada, I was eager to be part of a new initiative, an idea Canadian Foodie Valerie Lugonja simmered up after the recent Food Bloggers of Canada conference outside Toronto.

This post is part of the Canadian Food Experience Project, which launched this month as a means of sharing our collective Canadian food stories. Every month there will be a round-up of posts written by bloggers across the country, recounting food memories and sharing regional specialties. A great way to celebrate Canada, I think.

This month everyone is sharing a food memory – our earliest, was the assignment, but I’m going to go with one of my earliest; in grade 2 I lived in Calgary, in a rented house just off Bannerman drive in Brentwood. (This was not quite as swanky as the Hollywood Brentwood.) In the back yard there was an enormous raspberry patch – or enormous to us kids – we were free to poke around and pick, and dared each other to venture deeper and deeper into the prickly bushes to suss out the best berries. We’d stick them on the ends of our fingers – as I’m sure every Canadian kid did – and pretend it was gaudy nail polish before popping them in our mouths.

I’m a fan of raspberries in desserts – they add flavour, colour and tang – I almost always add a handful to crumbles and pies. I love the raspberry-rhubarb combo – perhaps better than strawberry-rhubarb, even. So when I came across this raspberry pie, made with a sort of browned butter custard, I had to give it a go.

Raspberry Browned Butter Pie

This gorgeous tart-pie is made with an all-butter shortbread crust that’s pressed, rather than rolled, into a tart pan. The filling makes use of nutty browned butter, which provides a richness that contrasts well with the tangy, fresh berries. Adapted from Bon Appétit, June 2009.

Crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces

Filling:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

pinch salt

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

2 cups (1 pint) fresh raspberries or blackberries

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a bowl (or the bowl of a food processor) combine the flour, sugar and butter; blend with a wire whisk or pastry blender or pulse until well blended. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom, or a quiche dish. Bake for 15 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat. Once completely melted, continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the butter turns nutty and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the warm browned butter, ensuring you get all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Arrange the raspberries or blackberries pointy ends up in the baked crust; gently pour the filling overtop and around the berries. If the pan has a removable bottom, place it on a rimmed baking sheet for extra insurance. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tart is puffed and golden.

Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before serving. Serves 8.

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