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The old adage is true, and truer still when brown butter is involved. Known as burro nocciola, after the hazelnuts it so resembles, this kitchen miracle will imbue your food with sweet, nutty flavor.
Burro nocciola is butter that has been heated to the point where all the water has cooked off and the milk solids have browned, thus amplifying the butter’s inherent flavor. Master this kitchen skill and you will preside over a world of subtle, yet rich flavor. The butter will first foam as the milk solids separate, then begin to bubble and boil as the water evaporates.
As the milk solids brown the butter will quietly deepen in color. Once it has taken on an amber cast, remove it from the heat. Your kitchen will have filled with the exquisite perfume of perfectly browned butter. Left too long over the flame, it will burn and take on a distinctly bitter flavor, so this is a time when your eyes are just as important as your nose and ears. Use it immediately or pour it into another container to stop the cooking.
The deeply flavored butter will enrich any dish. Pour it over vegetables. Toss gnocchi in burro nocciola and Parmigiano for an elegant twist on a homey classic. Or chill it and use it in cookies, cakes, or frostings for a depth of flavor you never thought possible.
Dress up your next oven-roasted Branzino with this golden flecked elixir and a bit of lemon juice. This is butter brought to new heights, made even more of a wonder by its ease of preparation. 
Brown Butter Crostata
makes 1 9-inch crostata
• 1⅓  cups tipo 00 flour
• 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch pieces
• 1 large egg
• ¼ teaspoon fine salt
Place the 00 flour, confectioner’s sugar, and sea salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal knife. Remove the cover of the food processor and distribute the butter over the flour mixture. Replace the cover, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg, processing until the dough forms clumps. Turn the dough onto the counter and press into a ball. Flatten it into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours before rolling it out.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to rest on the counter for 10 minutes before rolling. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle and fit it into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough against the sides of the pan. Trim the edges by passing the rolling pin over the top of the pan. Remove and discard the excess dough. Place the tart pan on a 9-inch cake board or other flat surface.
(Placing it on a cake board or other surface will prevent the removable bottom from pressing up and releasing, particularly important for long storage.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. The pastry shell can be frozen in the tart pan at this point, wrapped in 4 layers of plastic to keep out any freezer smell. Secure the plastic with strips of tape. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Nocciola Filling
It is crucial that the ingredients be combined in the order and manner specified. ¾ cup of the blueberries are baked into the filling, with the remaining berries used as garnish, either raw or lightly cooked. 
• 3 large eggs
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon 00 flour
• 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• Pinch of fine sea salt
• ¾ cup unsalted butter
• 1½ cups fresh blueberries, divided
• Confectioner’s sugar and mascarpone to serve
Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and set a pizza stone on it. Preheat to 350 degrees F. 30 minutes prior to assembling and baking the crostata. 
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the flour. Pour in the vanilla and salt. Whisk to combine. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until it has a rich amber hue. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk the burro nocciola into the egg mixture. Remove the prepared pastry shell from the freezer, and unwrap. Discard the cake board. Distribute ¾ cup of fresh blueberries over the bottom of the frozen pastry. Pour the filling into the pastry shell. Transfer the unbaked crostata, still on the pastry sheet, to the pizza stone and bake 1 hour or until set.
Meanwhile, if desired, combine the remaining ¾ cup of blueberries with ¼ cup of granulated sugar and cook over a medium-high flame until the sugar has completely dissolved and the blueberries are slightly softened. Set aside.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven, and slide the baked crostata onto a rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Remove the outer ring and transfer the crostata to a serving platter. Sift confectioner’s sugar over. Serve accompanied by a dollop of lightly whipped mascarpone and either fresh or cooked blueberries.
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