Tarte Tropézienne

A Tarte Tropézienne isn’t really a tart. It originates from Saint-Tropez and as Pierre Hermé and Dorie Greenspan write “isn’t for calorie counters”. I made the dough yesterday and today I made everything else (and even baked a brioche loaf). This recipe was quite easy to follow and lovely to make. The end result was so satisfying. Definitely my favorite Pierre Hermé recipe along with the Autumn Meringue Cake. I love everything about this tart: the beautiful brioche base, the yummy vanilla filling and the rich crumb topping. Fabulous! But now a very important note to anyone who wants to make this: the brioche recipe produces enough for two cakes, but you won’t be successful with the brioche if you make a smaller amount, so you can make a second Tarte Tropézienne or a brioche loaf, as I did. The recipe for the brioche I posted on a different post because this post is long enough as it is.

For the brioche recipe & egg wash click here.

The Crumbs
- 2 ½ tablespoons (1 ¼ oz) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

- Working with a rubber spatula, cream the butter in a small bowl until it is smooth. Stir in the sugar and flour. By the time you add the flour, you’ll probably find it easier to mix the ingredients together with your fingers. (true!) Just blend the ingredients until their texture resembles fine meal. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until needed.

To Rise:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and butter the inside of a 10 ¼ inch/26 cm dessert ring; set aside. (I used a 9 inch springform pan)
- Cut the chilled dough in half and return one piece to the refrigerator. Working on a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a tight ball and then press or roll the ball into a 10 ¼ inch/26 cm circle. Lift the circle onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and fit the dessert ring around the dough, pressing and pinching the dough as needed in order to have it fit into the ring. Cover the ring wit plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place (about 72°F/22°C) until it almost doubles in bulk, about 2 to 3 hours. (mine quadrupled in bulk!)

To Bake:
- Preheat the oven to 420°F/220°C.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the risen brioche and gently apply a coat of egg wash to the top, taking care not to let any of the egg wash dribble down the sides of the dessert ring (it would glue the brioche to the ring and keep it from rising evenly in the oven).
- Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the dough and use your fingers to lightly pat them in place. Slip the baking sheet into the oven and bake the brioche for 12 minutes, until it is puffed and golden. The brioche will be very soft – that’s perfect. Transfer the brioche to a cooling rack, keeping the dessert ring in place and allow the brioche to cool to room temperature. Leave the ring in place until you are ready to slice and fill the brioche.

The Filling
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 1 ¾ cups Vanilla Buttercream (see recipe below)
- 1 cup Vanilla Pastry Cream (see recipe below)
- 1 ½ tablespoons orange flower water (I omitted this and the kirsch)
- 1 ½ tablespoons kirsch (cherry brandy)

- Whip the heavy cream until it holds medium-firm peaks; set aside.
- Stir the buttercream and the pastry cream with a whisk to soften them. Using the whish, fold the pastry cream into the buttercream. Stir in the orange flower water and the kirsch, then gently fold in the whipped cream. The filling is now and ready and should be used immediately. If it must wait a few minutes, cover it and refrigerate.

Vanilla Buttercream: Remember you only need 1 ¾ cups of Vanilla Buttercream, so I suggest you halve this. This is the whole recipe.

- 3 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- Pulp from 1 vanilla bean (I used 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
- 7 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 4 sticks + 2 tablespoons (17 oz) unsalted butter, softened

- Pour the water and sugar into a small saucepan and add the vanilla bean pulp. Bring the mixture to the boil, swirling the pan occasionally t help melt and mix the sugar. Cook the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 245°F, 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the sugar has reached 245°F, beat the yolks in the mixer at medium-high speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bowl. Once the syrup is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating until the mixture is completely cool, 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the eggs and syrup are cooling, put the butter in another mixing bowl and work it with a flexible rubber spatula until it is creamy. Whatever you do, don’t allow the butter to melt or become oily and gooey. When the eggs are absolutely cool, decrease the mixer speed to low and add the butter in 12 additions. Once all the butter is incorporated, the mixture may look curdled – don’t panic. Keep mixing on low speed and the cream will become smooth. If the cream is very soft, it should be chilled until it is spreadable.

Vanilla Pastry Cream: You will only need 1 cup of this, so I suggest you halve this recipe, which makes a little over 1 cup. This is the whole recipe.

- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped (I used 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3 ½ tablespoons (1 ¾ oz) unsalted butter, softened

- In a small saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Cover the pan, remove from the heat and allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and set aside a small bowl that can hold the finished cream and be place in this ice bath.
- Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Whisking all the while, very slowly drizzle a quarter of the hot milk into the yolks. Still whisking, add the rest of the liquid to the tempered yolks in a steady stream. Remove and discard the pod.
- Place the saucepan over high-heat and whisking vigorously and without stop, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep at the boil, whisking energetically for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath and stirring frequently so that the mixture remains smooth, cool the cream to 140°F. Stir in the butter in 3 or 4 additions. Keep the cream over ice, stirring occasionally, until it is completely cool.

To Assemble:
- Remove the dessert ring by running a slender knife between the ring and the cake. Wash and dry the ring and center it on a cardboard cake round. Slice the brioche horizontally in half and fit the bottom piece, cut side up, into the dessert ring. Using an offset spatula, spread the filling evenly across the brioche; you’ll have a thick layer. Position the top of the brioche over the cream, jiggling it lightly to settle it into place, and pt the cake in the refrigerator for 2 hours to chill and set the filling. The cake should be served cold.

The crumb topping is sooo rich, love it!

Dividing the cakes, always my least favorite part.

The filling is too much for your tastebuds to handle! Whipped cream, vanilla buttercream and vanilla pastry cream ... how can it not be good?

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you a Tarte Tropézienne!


Eliana said…
Hmmmm - I love that vanilla pastry cream oozing out of the sides.
Anonymous said…
That sounds amazing! I would love a piece of that right now.
Snooky doodle said…
wow really interesting and yummy.
Unknown said…
I want to save this recipe

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