Orange Brown Butter Tart from a Sweet Heart

A beautiful orange brown butter tart


I wish I could say that I made this beautiful Orange Brown Butter Tart, but I can’t. Instead I’m thrilled to say that it was made by my dear friend Anne @ a Salad for all Seasons (previously From My Sweet Heart) who is sharing it with us today! In case you don’t know Anne, Anne makes some of the best desserts, sweets, treats, mouthwatering delights and now salads on the web. Every once in a while she’ll surprise us with something savory like her Black Bean Tart with a Chili Crust. Oh my!!!  Anne has a passion for baking, and you can definitely see that when you visit her site. She’s fun, she’s creative, and she’s one hell of a baker! So let’s check out this wonderful tart.  Thank you so much for sharing this with us Anne!

Anne of a Salad for All Seasons

Hi Friends! I am so happy to be here at MJ’s Kitchen. I know most of you feel the way I do. When you visit MJ’s site, you really feel like you are a guest in her kitchen. Though I live just outside of Washington D.C., I am a New England girl at heart, and so MJ’s southern and southwestern style of cooking is pretty new to me. Her recipes and her writing are very much like her – warm, comforting, fascinating and inviting. I always learn something new when I visit. It may be a dish I’ve never attempted or an ingredient that I’ve never used or ever even heard of! But I always come away educated and inspired.

I’ve only been blogging for two years. And I have no formal training in the culinary arts, food styling or photography. But I have this mad passion for sweet and savory baking and dessert making. So I decided to learn what I could and share what I love. Today, I’ve made an Orange and Brown Butter Tart. Originally I wanted to make this with all blood oranges, but they are so short lived here on the East Coast. So I went with a variety of oranges, which only made the tart more colorful; and I wasn’t disappointed.

I don’t know about you, but after the onslaught of what I call the chocolate holidays (Halloween through Valentine’s Day), I am ready to lighten up. I love to bake with lemons and citrus and really light fresh flavors. This tart has it all. A delicate pistachio crust is filled with a light, sweet, brown butter custard and topped with sliced, fresh oranges, brushed with a little Grand Marnier glaze.


An orange tart with a pistachio crust


Orange Brown Butter Tart Recipe

This recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking.
It makes a 9 inch tart and serves 8.



1 ¼ cups of all purpose flour
¼ cup of pistachios
2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
8 Tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes.
1 Tablespoon of finely grated orange zest
A glass of ice water

Instructions for Crust

  1. In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are mostly fine, but a few visible pieces remain. Add the flour, sugar and salt and pulse again to combine.
  2. Add your butter and the orange zest. Pulse this in brief spurts until the mixture resembles the texture of cornmeal.
  3. Add the ice water, one teaspoon at a time, just until the dough holds together in clumps.
  4. Press the dough together to form a 6 inch disc. Wrap this in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove it from the fridge, and with your hands, press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. You don’t need to grease the pan because the butter in the crust will be enough. The dough along the sides should be roughly ¼ inch thick.
  6. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the bottom of the crust and using the palm of your hands, or a pie damper, smooth the bottom of the crust. Place the shell in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  7. With the rack in the center position, preheat the oven to 400° F.
  8. Remove the plastic and line your tart with parchment or foil.
  9. If you are a dedicated follower of MJ’s blog, then I know you have plenty of dried beans on hand. Use these or pie weights to fill the tart.
  10. Bake the tart for about 15 minutes, or until the top edges are lightly golden in color.
  11. Carefully remove the parchment and foil with the beans, and then continue to bake the tart shell for another 15 minutes until crust is golden all over. Cool on a wire rack.

While the shell cools, prepare the custard filling.



3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 cups of whole milk
3 Tablespoons of cornstarch
2 large eggs
½ cup of granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Instructions for Custard

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium high heat until it has melted and the butter turns a golden brown. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter browns evenly.
  2. When the butter has browned, pour it into a heat proof bowl to stop the cooking and set it aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup of milk with the cornstarch, and then whisk in the eggs and set aside.
  4. In another medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1 ¾ cups of milk, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Carefully add ¼ of a cup of the boiled milk mix to the egg mix whisking constantly. Then return the milk mixture to the stove and add the egg mixture. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens. This should take about 30 seconds to a minute.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the brown butter and vanilla. Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl.
  7. Add the contents to the tart crust. Smooth the top and refrigerate for at least an hour.



4 or 5 oranges or your choice ( I used blood oranges, cara cara, and navel. Some of the blood oranges were a dark purple, while others were almost a purple stripe)
½ cup of orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon of orange liqueur ( I used Grand Marnier)


  1. Cut the ends off of the oranges, and using a sharp knife, trim off the pith and the peel. Halve the oranges lengthwise and then slice them thinly crosswise. Remove any seeds and trim any pith away.
  2. Arrange the oranges on top of the tart in concentric, slightly overlapping circles.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the marmalade over medium heat until it has melted. This should take roughly a minute.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and then stir in your orange liqueur.
  5. Brush the mixture over the oranges to give them a glossy look.
  6. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.



Anne's Orange Brown Butter Tart

I hope you will give this a try! This tart really lends itself well to variation. You may omit the pistachios in the crust or add another nut of your choice. You may add spices like cinnamon or cardamom to the custard or even substitute almond extract for the vanilla. And you may certainly top this with other fruits. I think many of the fresh berries that will be coming out in spring and summer would be perfect!

Thank you so much for inviting me, MJ. I hope you enjoy this as much as I’ve enjoyed making it for you!


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61 Responses to “Orange Brown Butter Tart from a Sweet Heart”

  1. P Mandal June 7, 2016 at 5:48 am #

    I looks awesome. I wish I could try this at home also.

  2. cooking rookie March 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    wow, MJ, everything about this tart is perfect! It looks so beautiful with those colorful oranges, the custard sounds delicious and the nuts must add such nice crunch to the crust! I have to try this recipe – goes on my “to make” list. Thank you for sharing!

    • mj March 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Thanks Rookie! Anne makes some beautiful treats!! Be sure to visit her blog and check out her other desserts.

  3. wok with ray March 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Where is everybody? I can’t believe I missed this! OMG, Ray!!! Sorry about that MJ and Anne. What a beautiful tart. I have never seen such vibrancy of colors. Thank you MJ for having Anne and for introducing her us. Thank you, Anne and it’s nice to meet you. I took a peek at your blog and I would say. . .wow, it’s gorgeous! 🙂

    • mj March 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks Ray! Anne has some wonderful recipes so I do hope you continue to explore her blog!

  4. Soni March 5, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Ooh this looks absolutely gorgeous!!I love blood orange and this tart looks so full of fresh flavors!!Lovely guest post by Anne!

  5. Terra March 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Oh goodness me this is one lovely tart!!!! It is funny, I never think to add oranges to my sweet treats like this. I bet this treat tasted amazing!!! Hugs, Terra

    • mj March 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

      I agree Terra. I would never have combine the orange with that sweet custard, but it sure sounds delicious!

  6. Natalie March 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Such a pretty tart, the colours are so vibrant!

  7. Raymund March 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    The colours are lovely, nice one!

  8. Beth March 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    I would usually choose a citrus dessert over chocolate anyway, but especially when it’s this beautiful. What a show-stopper!

  9. Charles March 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    What an absolutely gorgeous tart. I love those colours! The crust sounds amazing as well. I just bought some blood oranges today but must admit to being rather vexed because they’re basically orange (as in – regular orange) all the way through, with just a bit of “blood” colour in a few rare patches. Do you know if they get more “bloody” as they ripen? Every time I’ve had them in the past I’ve eaten them before they had a chance to develop any deeper colours so it would be nice to know if I could get something of such a gorgeous colour myself by just waiting a bit :).

    • mj March 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks Charles! It’s a beauty – isn’t it?! I did a little research and found there to be several different types of blood oranges. Some are the deep maroon you see here and some are just streaked with red. I’m not sure if they get redder as they ripen. I tried to find the answer, but couldn’t find one. If you are letting a few ripen, please let me know if they do intend get redder.

  10. Gomo March 3, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Wow, this tart is gorgeous Anne & MJ! I would almost be afraid to eat it (but of course, I would). 🙂 I so want a slice of it now!

  11. LinsFood March 3, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    So beautifully presented, I’d love to make this!

  12. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen March 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Not only does it look beautiful, but it mixes pistachios with brown butter! Gorgeous Anne. A wonderful guest post!

  13. Coffee and Crumpets March 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    A tart studded with jewels! Beautiful.


  14. beyondthepeel March 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    It looks absolutely wonderful. The flavors here are sure to be bold yet light. Love it.

  15. Swathi March 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Beautiful tart, This organey tart is yumm Mj, Annie, you made wonderful tart.

  16. gayathri March 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    lovely recipe…looks so good..
    new follower to your blog
    if you get chance, visit my blog..

  17. Sissi March 1, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Anne, this is one of the most beautiful tarts I have ever seen in my life! A real piece of art. I’m even scared to think how excellent it must taste because I have no possibility to grab a slice from the screen or make anything similar now.
    MJ, thank you for introducing Anne! She does seem an extraordinary baker.

  18. Lori Lynn March 1, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Nice to know you Anne! The tart looks fabulous! Love how you used different colored citrus and how it is layered so perfectly. A real delight!

  19. Adora's Box March 1, 2013 at 4:01 am #

    Absolutely lovely! Glad to meet Anne here in your kitchen MJ. I am in love with the pie, all of it. Love the nutty crust, the brown butter custard (anything with custard is good!) and the fruit topping. Perfect!

  20. Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats March 1, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    What a beautiful citrus tart! I can never resist something tangy and I think this tart will not last in my house as I probably be the one who will be devouring all to myself. ♥ Jo

  21. Liz February 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    It’s so fun to see Anne here! What a delectable tart…I love the multi-colored oranges and that custard looks to die for! MJ, I hope Anne saved you a slice!

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks Liz! A slice?! I’m hoping for a whole tart! 🙂 I’m actually going to give making this a try. I’ve never made a custard type tart, but Anne makes it look easy and with fabulous results!

  22. Debra February 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Yes, I agree about the Chocolate Holidays. Those are times to OD on chocolate.

    Dang it, we’re trying to eat heart healthy ’round here and toy two post this decadent dessert! Lol

  23. Carole February 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    MJ, just letting you know that you are in my Featured Food Blog sidebar for March on Carole’s Chatter. Have a great week.

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

      WOW! Thanks Carole!

  24. Gourmantine February 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    This is such a gorgeous tart, and just in time for blood orange season!

  25. Nami | Just One Cookbook February 28, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Hi MJ, for a quick second I was excited that you baked! I remember you are saying you are not much of a baker (just like me!)…. hee hee! You almost got me!

    Anne, what a FABULOUS tart. Oranges are so gorgeous (look at the colors, wow!) and brown butter… everyone is making brown butter something and I’m always drooling on the side. 😉 Looks delicious!!!

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      You’re funny Nami! I figured I needed to put a disclaimer in the first line. I don’t like to mislead people. 🙂 Bobby would probably faint if I set something like this in front of him. Anne certainly does inspire me to bake more. I’ve made a couple of her baked items and both have been excellent. I think I’m going to attempt this one next. I’ve never baked a tart so I might as well start at the top and with the best.

  26. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles February 28, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Nobody makes a sweet like Anne – she is only outmatched by her glowing heart. This tart is absolutely stunning!

    • mj March 3, 2013 at 8:32 am #

      So, So True Kelly! 🙂

  27. Kate@Diethood February 28, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Oh, I LOVE Anne!! And all of her delicious desserts!
    Gorgeous tart… I would SO eat it all by myself! 🙂

  28. Tessa February 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    What a gorgeous tart!

  29. Jane February 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Wow that does sound so good! I love the color of the blood oranges!!

  30. mj February 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Anne, thank you SO much for your wonderful tart! It’s a hit with me and everyone else,, but then I knew it would be. Thank you also for your kind words my friend! It’s great having you here and I hope you can make me another sweet treat some day. You know I have a huge sweet tooth! Lots of hugs!

    • Anne@FromMySweetHeart February 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi MJ! Thank you so much for inviting me today! And thank you to your readers for their very kind comments! Though I recognize some lovely friends…I’m excited to visit some new blogs as well! It’s been such a pleasure MJ….and I’m so happy to have met you through blogging! Many hugs back to you! : )

  31. The Wimpy Vegetarian February 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    This looks wonderful!! And I can’t wait to make your black bean tart!! Totally up my alley.

  32. Joan Nova February 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm #


  33. Reese@SeasonwithSpice February 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I am ready for spring and lots of sunshine! This tart looks wonderful with layers of citrus. I have huge bags of navel orange, blood orange & grapefruit sitting in storage right now. Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing this lovely treat with us, Anne.

  34. Sandra February 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Thank you MJ for inviting our dear friend here to share this beautiful tart with us. Anne your passion for creating beautiful desserts was at an all time high either this one. Simply gorgeous!!!!

    • mj March 3, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      You are most welcome Sandra! Isn’t she great! I think she outdid herself with this tart. It is SO beautiful. It definitely is a reflection of the person that made it. 🙂

  35. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies February 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Brown butter has an amazing ability to elevate anything it’s added to. This looks like the perfect winter dessert!

  36. Zsuzsa February 27, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Lovely, absolutely lovely!

  37. Dara February 27, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    This tart looks fantastic -and so seasonal with all that citrus! Great guest post.

  38. john@kitchenriffs February 27, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Glorious color on this! Looks great and the recipe looks perfect. Wonderful guest post – thanks so much!

  39. ChgoJohn February 27, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Wow! Now this is one good-looking tart! Thanks, Anne, for sharing your recipe and, MJ, thanks for the introduction. You really know how to pick a guest host.

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

      Thanks John! Wonderful guests and great friends!

  40. Judy @Savoring Today February 27, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    I like the addition of pistachios in the crust, so unique and different! I’m with you, when the calendar page changes to January, I am ready for citrus flavors of all kinds. Your tart looks beautiful and delicious! I’m glad MJ introduced us, I’ll be checking out your blog. 🙂

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Thanks Judy! Please do stop by Anne’s. You’ll love her blog!

  41. Ramona February 27, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Anne is one of the first ladies I met when I joined Foodbuzz (way back almost 2 years ago). She truly is a Sweet Heart!! This is such a fantastic tart and those colors are brilliant. I just popped by her blog to tell her just that too. 🙂

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

      Ramona – I totally agree! What a sweetheart! Anne, you and many have others have been one the most pleasant aspects of blogging. 🙂

  42. Karen (Back Road Journal) February 27, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    This tart looks like a jeweled mosaic…I’m sure it is a good as it is pretty. Thank you Anne and MJ for sharing this recipe.

  43. Treat and Trick February 27, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    Super combo and looks inviting! Thanks Anne and MJ for sharing this fabulous tart…

  44. Jennie @themessybakerblog February 27, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Oh my, does this tart look delish! Such beautiful colors!

  45. Nisa Homey February 27, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Love the bright colors….wish I could just diiiiig in 🙁

  46. Rita Bose February 27, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    Tart looks absolutely delicious! Lovely pictures! Drooling over here!!

  47. Angie@Angie's Recipes February 27, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    wow look at the sunshine…oops, I meant colour…so beautiful and bright. The tart looks spectacular! Thank you, Ann, MJ.

    • mj February 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Angie – I totally agree! Anne did provide a warning on her site to wear sunglasses. 🙂 Isn’t it gorgeous?!

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