“Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!”
Author Unknown

Yay, it’s November! Really surprised how silently it snuck up on me, and am still wondering what happened to poor old October. It went Q U I C K, but I’m not complaining as I love November, not least because it’s my birthday month. It is possibly the best month of the year in North India, the onset of a beautiful winter, temperatures more like a European autumn as Pam said the other day. Our winters see new leaves sprouting, chrysanthemums, carnations, oodles of farm fresh vegetables & bright sunny days. We wake up to slightly nippy mornings, with the slightest hint of a morning mist, birds chirping & kids bundled up already walking briskly to school. Yes, days of gorgeous weather are here again! Did I forget to mention ‘cricket season’? Yes, that too!

The downside, these are days far shorter than I can handle. Day breaks late, the sun sets by 6pm & the kids are home before you know it. I can keep talking till the cows come home, but the thing is that I am stressed. The lad is leaving on a 3 day trip to the‘The Himalayan Bear Stream Camp’, nestled in the Himalayas, and is driving me crazy. I have packed & unpacked his rucksack a trillion times, he is talking non-stop, wants to take 4 dozen cookies just in case he doesn’t like the food … H E L P! In the midst of this mayhem, I am trying to post an apple dessert that I fell in love with, and have made twice this week. It’s also apple season in full swing here, and this year’s seen a good apple crop. Last year we had unseasonal weather and a failed crop, but this year seems good. I saw a ‘Peaches to the Rescue’ post at An Edible Symphony, Muneeba’s delicious blog, and the mind was set. This I had to make, and make soon, but I knew I’d use apples or maybe pears since peach season was long gone. Her post sang to me, & played on my mind all day long. I made it soon enough, twice in a week actually because it was DELISH. The second time around I made it in dessert rings without a pastry base. Cut the calories, but kept the taste…nom nom nom!! Browned butter in the list of ingredients immediately caught my eye. I find the use of clarified butter/browned butter/ghee in baking particularly interesting & intriguing. Most Indian households always have a jar of ghee/clarified butter on hand, and there’s nothing more convenient than using it. If you find a box/carton at your local Indian store, it’s worth the buy. More so because it has a long shelf life, and doesn’t need refrigeration. Just make sure you store it in an airtight container in a cool place. I used clarified butter in here in Dark Chocolate, Ricotta & Ginger Tartlets with Vanilla Poached Pears , and here Plum & Dried Black Grapes Frangipane Clafoutis and also in this Chocolate Genoise Cake with Mocha Mascarpone. Ghee is the traditional Sanskrit word for clarified butter. Chefs often use clarified butter because it will not burn during frying (this is known as a high smoking point), and possesses a more buttery flavor. Ghee lacks hydrogenated oils and is a popular choice for health-conscious cooks as well. Additionally, since all the milk proteins have been removed during the clarifying process, ghee gains further nutritional value because it’s lactose free, making it a safer alternative for those who are lactose intolerant.
Several cultures make ghee outside of India. Egyptians make a product called samna baladi, literally meaning “local ghee”, virtually identical to ghee in terms of process and end result. In Ethiopia, niter kibbeh is made and used in much the same way as ghee, but with spices added during the process that result in a distinctive taste. Moroccans (especially Berbers) take this one step further, aging spiced ghee in the ground for months or even years, resulting in a product called smen. In NortheasternBrazil, a non-refrigerated butter very similar to ghee, called manteiga-de-garrafa (Butter-in-a-bottle) or manteiga-da-terra (Butter of the land), is common. In Europe it is also widely used. For example, Wiener Schnitzel is traditionally fried in a version of ghee called Butterschmalz.

Apple Brown Butter Tartlets
adapted from Peachy Keen Brown Butter Bars from An Edible Symphony
Serves 8 I used some 4″ puff pastry pie shells I made with left over Daring Bakers puff pastry dough for one lot, and went sans base, that is just fruit, for another lot. Both were great, and I loved the good taste & lower calories in the baseless ones! The kids got just the crustless ones which they loved! Do check out An Edible Symphony for her crust recipe.
Ingredients for the filling:
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup clarified butter/melted ghee
4 apples, peeled and sliced
Preheat oven to 190C.
For the filling, blend eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Very slowly drizzle in the browned butter until smooth and completely blended.
Arrange two layers of apple slices on the pre-baked crust, (or within a foil lined dessert/tart ring if going sans pastry).
Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Pour the brown butter mixture carefully over the fruit. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake for 20-25 mins till golden and puffed (or 40-45 minutes if baking 1 large pie).
Serve warm or at room temperature with some unsweetened whipped cream, or vanilla ice-cream for added luxury. ♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. Jamie says:

    Luscious, Deeba, simply luscious! I love apple pies and tarts and I love both your versions. Must try. And your son wants to bring 4 dozen cookies in case he doesn't like the food. ROTFL!!! Too funny!

  2. MaryMoh says:

    That just looks extremely good! I love apple tarts. Lovely picture.

  3. It looks absolutely delicious!

  4. Cenwen says:

    Mhum! It looks awfully good!

  5. RJ Flamingo says:

    You know? I am a complete idiot! I always have ghee in the cupboard & never thought of using it for my baking!!! This not only sounds fabulous, but I learned something, too!

  6. Marti says:

    Wow – the idea, the pictures – I can only imagine the smell and the taste. Amazing as always. Honestly, not so many things in life bring out the same smile on my face as when I see your new post on my Reader. Thank you for letting us enjoy your talent :)

    Greetings from Croatia,


    PS – I don't know if you maybe want to correct the name of the dessert on the first image. It caught my eye only because I always study carefully your pictures as each of them is a piece of art on its own. I am completely in love with all your photos of the food (with all due respect to the dish and the recipe :)

  7. Marti says:

    I like November too as it's my birthday soon as well 😀 Gonna try to make for the guests one of your cakes :)

  8. Barbara says:

    Those are some beautiful tartlets, Deeba!

  9. Peter M says:

    The use of brown butter in desserts is most welcome. I would forgo rabbit (maybe) for a taste of your tart.

  10. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Those fantastic! I bet they are exquisite!



  11. The Cooking Ninja says:

    Love your tartlets – so yummy. Never had Ghee before … will get one from the Asian store here and try it out.

  12. Barbara Bakes says:

    This must be fabulous if you had to have it twice in one week! I like the idea of making it without a crust to save calories!

  13. sunita says:

    Gorgeous! Loves apples in desserts :-)

  14. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    These look absolutely gorgeous. Photographs are great. I can almost feel the taste and texture of it in my mouth!

  15. Gloria says:

    These tartlets look fantatsic and delicious Deeba!!, love them!! gloria

  16. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    I love love love the styling here. It's so warm and autumnal.

  17. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    I love love love the styling here. It's so warm and autumnal.

  18. These look so mouthwatering Deeba! I love ghee, but never knew there were so many similar variations.

  19. Elenka says:

    Can you use regular sugar and liquid vanilla instead of vanilla sugar? (Never heard of Vanilla Sugar…)

  20. Anushruti says:

    I love winter too…the best vegetables and fruits and pleasant weather in Mumbai!

    The tarts look great!

  21. Madame Sucre says:

    Deeba can I come to your house right this second to see how it smells?? It must be better than candles!

    love this one so much.. you know that , since i loved your apple swirls , this is even butter:).. I mean , Better :)

  22. These are beautiful Deeba! I can't understand how you think you're not a complete rock star in the pastry department because you are! and the pictures are lovely. I want one. Will there be any left at the end of the month? probably not…

  23. Curry Leaf says:

    Wow,Never tried baking with ghee.Useful post and perfect tartlets.PERFECT as ALWAYS

  24. Muneeba says:

    Thks for the shout-out Deeba! But I gotta say … am completely impressed with your version of this recipe … you took it to a whole new, more sophisticated level … SO much prettier!!

  25. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    Oh my – what gorgeous little tartlets!
    Filled with appley goodness. :)

  26. Christine aka Mistress of Cakes says:

    I swear…I wish I had your talent!

  27. Michelle says:

    OMG…what a gorgeous dessert and what a fab recipe to boot!

    I was thinking about making some apple tarts with puff pastry too but I know mine will not be as wonderful as yours!

  28. meeso says:

    Oh, too, too tempting!

  29. Those look simply divine! Lovely little desserts.

  30. WizzyTheStick says:

    The best people are born in November:-) My dad my mom and my brother:-) Can't wait to see what feast you will cook up for yourself for the big day.

  31. zurin says:

    that looks beautifully delicious and tempting ! :))

  32. Madhuli says:

    Hey did you get my mail??Am trying to tweet you but can't get through I think!

  33. Amanda says:

    Man Deeba, everything you make is a work of art!!

  34. Amanda says:

    Man Deeba, everything you make is a work of art!!

  35. Junglefrog says:

    It seems we have the same flavors in our minds! I made clafoutis with apple and walnut just yesterday! Haven't posted it yet, but will soon.. This looks delicious too. It's great and classic combo!

  36. Manggy says:

    I love this- I was just talking to a friend of mine and I said that apples and butter are perfect together. I think I would have finished this in a heartbeat.

    I think I have to correct you, though: clarified butter is not the same as brown butter. In brown butter the milk solids give it the characteristic color and flavor, but clarified butter has separated and removed these milk solids (and also the reason why it keeps for much longer than regular butter).

  37. bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says:

    Yup! My grandmother used to cook with samneh! Beautiful post! Love appppples.

  38. Steph says:

    You're right, October did just fly by. I was actually sad to see a holiday commercial so soon. I used to love the holidays, but now it just reminds me how quickly one year goes by. Anyway… I love how sophisticated your tart looks!

  39. Helene says:

    Your tarts are magnifiques and the pictures stunning.

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