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Brown Butter Peach Bars


Peach Jam

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  • 4 cups 1/2 inch diced, peel-on, peaches (about 2 pounds whole)


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups flour


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Peach Jam: in a 3 quart pot and using a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar, orange zest and juice, and vanilla bean and seeds.
  2. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until it reaches 220 degrees F.
  3. Add the peaches and boil, stirring occasionally, until the peaches turn into a thick jam and the thermometer returns to 220 degrees F, 35 to 45 minutes. Wear long oven mitts as the jam can splatter. (When the jam begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, it's nearly there.)
  4. Transfer the jam to a wide pan to cool. Remove the vanilla bean.
  5. Crust: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the white milk solids start to brown and smell nutty, 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve set over a heatproof container. Freeze until solid.
  7. In a large bowl, mix together the confectioner's sugar and flour.
  8. Scoop the chilled brown butter into the flour mixture and, using a pastry cutter, blend until crumbly.
  9. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and firmly pat it evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  10. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the crust until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
  12. Filling: whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest and flour in a large bowl.
  13. Place the vanilla bean and seeds and the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the white milk solids start to brown and smell nutty, and then strain through a fine sieve.
  14. Carefully add the brown butter to the egg and flour mixture, whisking until the butter is incorporated. Remove the vanilla bean.
  15. To assemble the bars, spread half of the filling over the baked crust.
  16. Spoon large dollops of the peach jam over the filling, reserving a quarter of the jam.
  17. Pour the remaining brown butter filling over the peach jam, and finish by spooning smaller dollops of the reserved jam over the top.
  18. Bake until the filling is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  19. Cool completely.

Yield: 24 bars