I find myself checking pinterest every few hours, Facebook at least three times a day (if not more) and checking instagram every chance I have. Nothings changed since I last looked, yet I still spend 10 minutes of my time scrolling through the photos I saw earlier that day.
I know that the main cause of this is boredom but it has also become a bad habit. If I have a second to spare, I’ll jump on my phone and let my fingers run me straight to social media. To be completely honest, I really don’t know why. It honestly doesn’t interest me. Other than seeing some mouth-watering treats other bloggers have conjured in their kitchen; do I really care about the colour someone painted their nails today?
Yes, instagram contains beautiful photos and can connect people with similar interests from across the seas. I do love seeing people’s snaps of their holiday to Iceland (I enjoy everything on these sites in moderation) but when you look in from the outside, I’m standing on my phone; alone.
All of this contemplating has stemmed from the fact that I was looking for inspiration for baking on the blog this week. My first instinct was to search through pinterest with glazed eyes. Seen that. Seen that. Seen that.
Suddenly I looked up and thought, bloody hell. I have all of these beautiful cook books surrounding me with a plethora of influence hiding between the pages. Original influence; not an idea that’s been churned and spat out through 50 blogs already. So that’s what I did. I searched through my books and arrived at this Brioche Tart.
This recipe comes from a man you all know well through your television screens; Paul Hollywood. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Mr Hollywood, but I’ve made many of his recipes and they have (all but one disastrous set of Danish pastries) come out beautifully. Even if I don’t use his recipes, the photos and flavour combinations always spark an idea.
The original recipe calls for Apples as the chosen fruit, but I was drawn to plums and their ripe crimson jackets. I have also infused the creme patissiere with cinnamon to spice things up as well as added orange zest into the soft brioche dough. These small changes really prep up the flavours and bring this delicate french treat to life.
Part of me does want to go to Iceland on a holiday (just like I see posted by others online) and hide in a cabin somewhere remote.
Turn off my phone, abandon the computer, sit with a dog by my feet, good food in my grasp, surrounded by the people I love and actually see the world around me; not through a pixellated photo that’s the consequence of someone else’s adventure. The only record of it, in my mind, in my memories and in my photos; photos that are kept in a real life album; not one stored behind the virtual, edited profile of me.
Ingredients – One tart serves 6-8 – Recipe adapted from Paul Hollywood ‘How to Bake’
Brioche recipe (makes two tarts) *see notes*
- 260g strong white bread flour
- pinch salt
- 25g caster sugar
- 5g instant yeast
- 70ml warm milk
- 3 eggs
- 125g unsalted butter, room temperature
- zest of one orange
Creme Patissiere (for one tart)
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 20g cornflour
- 250ml milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 20g unsalted butter
To finish (for one tart)
- 6-8 ripe plums, cored and cut into 8 slices
- handful of roasted flaked almonds
- 100g apricot jam, to glaze
*Notes: This brioche recipe makes 2 tarts. The reason for this is that it’s impossible to make a smaller amount of dough in a stand mixer as the dough hook wouldn’t reach. The recipe I am giving makes enough brioche dough for 2 tarts but the rest of the recipe is for one tart as I think its unlikely you guys are going to make 2. However, if you wish to make two, double the creme patissiere recipe and plums.
**I would recommend making the full amount of dough, making two tarts or making one tart and using the remaining dough to make a brioche loaf or individual rolls. You can attempt to make half the brioche recipe by hand, however its very messy and can take a long time to work the dough.
To make the Brioche dough and Creme Patissiere the night before:
- Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Combine the three ingredients and then add in the yeast. Add in the milk and eggs. Mix these on medium speed for 5-8 minutes until the dough is glossy and elastic. With the mixer still on medium speed, add in the orange zest and softened butter in small chunks until it is all incorporated. Continue to mix the dough for another 5 minutes until it is smooth and soft.
- Tip the dough into a greased bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge overnight.
- To make the creme patissiere: Place the milk and cinnamon stick into a saucepan and onto medium heat. Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape the seeds into the milk with the empty pod. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour.
- Once the milk has just come to the boil, remove the vanilla pod and cinnamon stick. Pour half of it over the egg yolks and whisk in immediately. Add this mix into the rest of the hot milk and place back onto the heat. Whisking continuously, the mix will begin to thicken and bubble. Once the mix starts to bubble, whisk for another 30 seconds and take the creme off the heat.
- Whisk in the butter until it has melted. Spoon the creme into a bowl and cover with cling film (make sure the cling film is actually touching the surface of the creme to stop a skin forming.) Leave to chill in the fridge until needed.
To assemble the tart the next day:
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Take your brioche dough out of the fridge and tip it onto a lightly floured kitchen counter. Punch down the dough a few times to knock out the air. Split the dough into two equal pieces (see notes.) Use one piece for your tart and see notes to use the second.
- Shape the dough into a ball and roll out into a 23cm circle. Move to the baking tray. Spoon on your creme patissiere from the fridge (you may not need all of it) and spread it in a thin layer on top of the brioche, making sure to leave a border around the edge.
- Cover with a clean plastic bag, making sure it doesn’t touch the creme and prove for 2 hours.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C.
- Once the brioche is proved, remove the plastic bag. Arrange your plum slices on top of the brioche tart in a circle. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
To Finish the tart:
- Warm the apricot jam with a little water in a saucepan until hot and liquid. Using a pastry brush, coat the top of the tart so that it’s shiny and glazed.
- Sprinkle on your roasted almonds and serve warm.