In a 1997 episode of Julia Child’s Baking with Julia, Nancy Silverton baked a brioche tart that was so good it made Julia cry. In our take on this groundbreaking dessert, we filled a pillowy brioche “crust” with velvety cream cheese custard and swirled it with fruit preserves. Finished off with crunchy pearl sugar, this stunner might just make you shed a tear, too.
Jam and Cream Brioche Tart
- 2¾ cups (344 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
- 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (95 grams) warm whole milk (120°F/49°C to 130°F/54°C)
- 3 large eggs (150 grams), room temperature and divided
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- Cream Cheese Filling (recipe follows)
- 2 tablespoons (40 grams) fruit preserves*
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
- 1½ tablespoons (18 grams) Swedish pearl sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt at very low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Slowly add warm milk, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add 2 eggs (100 grams) and vanilla, and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next, about 8 minutes total. Beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms, about 6 minutes.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 4 to 5 times. Shape dough into a smooth round. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 11-inch square. Score a 9-inch square in center of dough. Fold outside 2 inches over score mark, creating a crust around edges. Lift dough, and place in prepared pan, making sure dough is even and fills corners of pan. Cover and let rise until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
- Using your fingertips, dimple center of dough back down, leaving outside crust as is. Pour Cream Cheese Filling into center of dough. Make small indentations in Cream Cheese Filling. Fill indentations with teaspoonfuls of preserves. Using a knife, swirl preserves into Cream Cheese Filling.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
- Bake until crust is golden brown, filling is set around outside edges and slightly jiggly in center, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of filling registers 175°F (79°C), 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Serve warm, or let cool completely on a wire rack.
*We used Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves.
Cream Cheese Filling
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt at medium speed until well combined. Gradually add cream cheese, beating until smooth. Add egg, beating until combined. Beat in flour.