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opinionatedchef | Nov 8, 201511:16 AM    

Since I'm not a fan of the bakeries in Boston, in general, I rarely visit them, so I figure a number of you up-to-date CHs are the ones to ask: Do you often see Brown Butter Tarts here? We just returned from Portland Me., which has a pretty fantastic bakery scene, and I learned about Brown Butter Tarts (yes, they've been around a looong time, Nancy Silverton et al; I just missed them somehow.) Both Little Bigs (amazingly talented bakers) and Tandem Bakery (fewer but some v good products) were doing their own versions of this superior spin-off of the Southern Chess Pies my mom used to make. The most unusual thing about the Tandem version was her bottom crust. It seems that the butter and sugar somehow, maybe, separates out a bit and seeps down into the bottom crust, making a hard candy-like crunchy crust that needs a knife to cut! Yet the filling still firms up to be congealed and hold its shape.
The Tandem baker said her mixture has heavy cream and cornmeal in it (I saw cornmeal in one of the recipes I googled ( maybe Christina Tosi's) so I'm thinking maybe it's the extra fat in the heavy cream (instead of the usual milk) that precipitates out to that bottom crust. Fascinating! Any experiences with this?

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