Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TWD: Brioche Plum (Apricot) Tart

This week was interesting. The recipe was actually sort of a hit and a miss rolled into one. Let me explain....

This week's recipe was a cross between a coffee cake, sweet bread, and tart. It had an identity crisis. Essentially, we made a poor brioche. Poor refers to the paucity of butter and eggs. In the brioche world, this was the other side of the tracks. The brioche was topped with fresh apricots and then baked. I had some high hopes for this one. The apricots I bought were ripe and juicy. The brioche dough was doing all the things it was supposed to. But somehow the great components didn't come together. It was nice to look at, but the individual pieces didn't quite work to make a great final product. It wasn't the biggest hit in our house.

On Dorie's fussy scale, this was low and high. Making the dough did not require much work. (Thank you, Mom, for my KitchenAid stand mixer.) But then, it demands to be tended to every half hour for about two and a half hours. I let mine rest overnight where it lulled me into a false sense of ease. The next day was another hour of sporadic attention. The dough needed to be pressed into a tart pan. Then it sits. Then the topping is put on (apricot jam and apricots, almonds and sugar). Then it sits. Then it bakes for 20 minutes, gets covered and bakes for ten more. It smelled amazing.

Sadly, it didn't taste amazing. The weight of the fruit meant that the middle was much more dense than the edges. The apricots were good, but the bigger bites of fruit overwhelmed the sweet dough flavor. That part was the miss. Here's the hit though: we all sat around thinking about other fabulous things we could put on this dough. Raspberry jam with almonds and chocolate chips. Blackberry jam with blackberries. Strawberry rhubarb jam with almonds. Apple jelly with cinnamon and pecans. See! So many good choices! Both the boy and girl picked off the fruit and just ate the bread part with the apricot jam. Lesson learned.

Here it is before baking. I used a mix of halves and slices.

This is after the sprinkle of sugar and almonds. Maybe brown sugar?

Thank goodness for the Silpat! This would have been an ugly mess in the oven. I think I expected the fruit to cook more.

My edges over browned a bit. I'll know to tent it a little sooner next time.

Here's a slice on a plate. See where the fruit has squished down the dough closest to the middle?

I think if we were having brunch company, I would make the dough again. It was easy enough to do with the stand mixer, and I can largely ignore it while I do other things.

Thank you to Denise of Chez Us for choosing this. I was scared away from the previous brioche recipe, so I'm glad to have made one.

12 comments:

Cakelaw said...

It looks terrific Jules - it came out just right. I like your family's other suggestions for using this dough - it is quite delicious, so I am sure that any of them would be good.

Cristine said...

Your tart looks great! I'm with you, though. It was good, but I was thinking about what else I could do with it!

Clivia said...

Your photos are great! I had the same experience - a soggy middle. We also can't wait to try other toppings.

Megan said...

Fresh apricots - I love those straight up. But the other combinations you came up with sound great - and definitely worth trying.

isabelle said...

Looks delicious!
I used apricot, too.

Lainie said...

Wow. That does look yummy, although it looks like more work than I'd be willing to put in at this point...

SUGAR B said...

I still think your tart looks AWESOME.

I like the other filling suggestions, too!

Tammy said...

I think your tart looks perfect, but I have to agree - I didnt think this was amazing either

Kayte said...

Well, it looks terrific! Your bottom crust turned out much better than mine. Love the colors on this...gorgeous!

Cathy said...

I agree - I wanted to love this but I just didn't. Somehow the parts just didn't come together to create something extraordinary. Oh well, fun to make, and I guess they can't all be our favorites! Yours is beautiful!

TeaLady said...

Well, it looks delicious. I guess I will have to break down and make this.

Leslie said...

I think you're being to hard on yourself--this looks great! Mine was a little (lot) dark around the edges, too, but still tasted great. I hope you do make the brioche again, even though it's a little high maintenance, it's definitely worth it.