Pistachio Brown Butter Cake with Concord Grapes

1 9-inch cake


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan

  • 2 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 cup pistachio flour or 1 cup unsalted pistachios and 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup cake flour

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 7 large egg whites (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 heaping cup halved, seeded Concord grapes

  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar


  1. Melt butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until light brown and nutty-smelling, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.

  2. Sift together confectioners' sugar, pistachio flour (or pistachios and flour, processed in a food processor until fine), cake flour, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in egg whites to combine. Whisk in strained butter in a slow, steady stream. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thickened, about 1 hour and up to 1 week.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

  4. Pour chilled batter into prepared tart pan. Sprinkle grapes over the top, keeping fruit 1/2 inch in from edge of pan. Sprinkle grapes and batter with demerara sugar.

  5. Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake until edges of cake are dark golden brown and top is slightly springy to the touch, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer cake to a wire rack, remove outer ring of pan, and let cool; serve warm or at room temperature. This cake is best eaten the day it is made, but can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to 2 days.

    Bryan Gardner
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