Dorie's tart has a sweetened lean brioche as its crust. Brioche is a lovely bread in its own right and makes a versatile base for many other recipes, such as sweet rolls and coffeecakes. Depending on the amount of butter in the brioche, it can be classified anywhere from "rich" to "lean" (which still is pretty rich, actually!) I recently baked a medium-rich Brioche for the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge (you can read about that bread in this post) and I was very interested in working with a leaner brioche dough.
Obligatory deck rail picture!
- Zoë François of the book (Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day) wrote this post about mini brioche tarts.
- Jamie Oliver has an interesting technique for preparing plums for tarts - read about it here
- You can find the recipe for Brioche Plum Tart on Denise's blog post. She also has a wonderful picture of how the tart can/should look.
- My husband chose berries over plums for the tart (which was great since I don't have plum jam). I used blueberries and blackberries. A 3-citrus marmalade seemed like a perfect complement to the sweetness of the berries.
- I made 3/4 recipe to fit my 7 3/4 " tart pan with deep fluted sides. My buddy the online circle calculator told me that was an appropriate pan size for the scaled amount of dough.
-One extremely large duck egg (from the farm box) was equivalent to 3/4 of 2 regular large eggs
- I converted to instant yeast , which I mixed in with the dry ingredients.
- When I'm not mixing ingredients by hand, the food processor is my next favorite way to mix yeast dough, especially since my stand mixer is ailing. I pulsed the dry ingredients first (with the instant yeast), then added the wet gradually while the processor is running. The food processor mixes dough very quickly, and usually generates a fair amount of heat, so it's a good idea to use milk and eggs at refrigerator temperature. The brioche dough is very sticky, so the food processor wasn't able to mix it quite as long as I would have liked. The dough windowpaned (could be stretched until translucent) so I knew the gluten was well developed.
- I wasn't able to give my dough an overnight rest, but I might try that next time, as Dorie says it gives extra flavor.
- The marmalade I used was Branches Three Citrus Marmalade, a deliciously tart citrus preserve.
- The recipe doesn't specify a weight of fruit to use. It was hard for me to figure out how much the crust would rise or puff, and how many berries to use in that deep pan.
- For the topping, I sprinkled pecans and golden baker's sugar.
- The brioche puffed beautifully in the oven, mostly on the sides of the tart, and browned very quickly; I wish I'd tented it a tiny bit sooner. The berries got quite juicy as they baked.
- I wonder if the brioche bottom might have puffed more in and among the pieces of fruit had I used plums instead of berries.
- I served the tart warm with vanilla ice cream. Even though Dorie recommends that the tart be eaten the day it is baked, we ate the remainder reheated the next day and it was still good (if a bit soggier).
It had a great play of tart and bitter (marmalade), bright and fresh (berries), soft and rich (brioche), sweet and crunchy (nut mixture), all mellowed out by the creamy coolness of the freshly churned vanilla ice cream.
This tart was a huge hit with my husband, who said that he liked it better than pie, which is truly saying something. I love the lightness and slightly sweet flavor of Dorie's lean brioche, and would love to experiment with this recipe again. I think I'd use a shallow tart pan next time to see if I can get the bottom of the crust to puff up.
Stop by here again tomorrow as my blog celebrates not one, but two big milestones!
Update: I'm submitting this bread-tart to Bread Baking Day #21, hosted by Stefanie of the blog Hefe und Mehr. The theme this month is "sweet breads", and I think this sweetened brioche tart fits right in!