Sometimes I carry things around in my head never knowing when they’re going to pop up, or maybe (as you’ll see) I should say boil over. This Brioche Tart is one of those things.
Several years ago I came across a hilarious story in the LA Weekly about how Nancy Silverton burned the HELL out of Julia Child’s mouth during a cooking segment of the show Julia Child’s Baking Series. Nancy was making a Crème Fraiche Custard Brioche Tart with warm fruit compote. Well more like a boiling hot fruit compote. I remember the story more than I remember the tart or even the recipe. The story was good for a chuckle, but I never really considered making that Brioche Tart or any Brioche Tart. I’m not much of a baker, and yeasty preparations especially fill me with terror. Still, I carry that vision of Julia’s scalded tongue around with me nonetheless.
Fast forward to yesterday. I popped into the blog, Butter and Brioche. The beautiful photography has been catching my attention lately and I enjoy seeing what’s going on over there. Well, I found (of all things) a Brioche Tart. Naturally, the Julia Child story came to mind, so I was predisposed to like this tart. I also liked the blogger’s attitude about yeast, it reminded me of my own trepidations. So I looked at the recipe. It was much simpler than many of the traditional brioche recipes I’ve avoided over the years, so I thought– why not?
The Butter and Brioche blog recipe calls for fresh strawberries and labne (strained yogurt). There’s no way I’m going to press yogurt through muslin to remove the whey, so I almost abandoned the project. However, I did have fresh blackberries that needed immediate attention. So some changes were in order. Enter Nancy Silverton and the memory of her blazing hot Brioche Tart. Which got me on Google. I soon found Nancy and Julia’s recipe. The brioche crust required sponge starters and hours and hours of preparation. So I opted for the simpler, orange-scented version I found at Butter and Brioche.
However, I did adapt the assembly method from Nancy, which requires a ring mold to keep the brioche rising up rather than out. I know ring molds sound fussy, but I like the way her version makes a crown around the edge of the tart. As I said I had fresh blackberries, which I’m sure you know get rather runny when baked. As I also planned to skip the crème fraiche and/or labne, I figured the rim would help corral the juices.
This is what I came up with. Imagine a piece of orange-scented, buttery brioche, topped with fresh blackberry jam. GREG