Friday, June 17, 2005

SHF #9: Tempting Bread Tart

This month's SHF theme is Tempting Tarts, hosted by none other than Jarrett, owner of every food blogger's (and food blog fan's) favorite resource.

The idea for this tart came straight out of Baking with Julia. In it, Nancy Silverton offers up a wonderful looking Brioche Tart. Hers is rich dough, filled with a creme fraiche and egg custard and baked. It is then topped with a creamy white wine sauce and poached fruit.

My tart is nowhere near as rich as hers, in no small part because I couldn't be bothered to make a brioche dough. Instead, I used a half batch of my classic white bread and a cream filling. It turned out rather like a custard pizza, but once the fruit compote was added and the juices absorbed, it was very nice. I definately like the idea of using a bread base for a tart because it makes the tart seem so much more substantial. It would be easy to take this type of dessert to a picnic as well. Next time, I think I will slice some apples or stone fruits and lay them in the custard to bake with the tart. A cream cheese filling would go very well here, too. If you're making your own filling, cut down on the sugar. This recipe adds more sugar before baking.
Use something at least as rich as the white bread as a base. I finally updated my brioche recipe and a half batch of the would be perfect.

Cream Filled Bread Tart with Plum and Dried Cherry Compote
1/2 batch classic white bread or brioche dough
1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 egg
1 egg white
1/3 -1/2 cup sugar
Butter a 10 inch tart pan.
Let the dough rise once, then roll out into a circle at least 1 inch larger than tart pan. Transfer the dough to tart pan and roll edges over, creating ruffled edge. Or, if you’re like me, simply fold the edge over to create an almost pizza like crust. Let rise again for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You can do this rise overnight in the fridge if you'd like, but let the dough come to room temperature before proceeding.
Beat together the creme fraiche and the egg and set aside.
After the second rise, use your finger tips to dimple the bottom of the tart like a focaccia. Spread the cream filling over the center of the tart. Brush the crust with the lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar. You should use approximately 1 tbsp for the crust and ¼-1/3 cup for sprinkling the pastry cream. The cream will absorb sugar as you sprinkle it, so, if necessary, add a bit more sugar until it ceases to be absorbed by the cream.
Bake in a 375F oven for 35-40 minutes (for white bread)
Bake in a 275F oven for 30-40 minutes (for brioche)
Allow tart to cool down for a few minutes before transferring it to a cooling rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with warm compote, recipe below.
Dried Cherry and Plum Compote
½ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean
6 plums, unpeeled, pitted and cut in sixths
½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup water
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until plums are tender. Remove vanilla bean and serve with tart or over ice cream.