Keyword: Brioche Bread, Mini Tarts, Strawberries, Tarts
Prep Time: 1hour30minutes
Cook Time: 30minutes
Proofing / Chilling time: 1day
Total Time: 1day2hours
Servings: 16mini tarts
Author: Dini @ The Flavor Bender
Beautiful Strawberry Custard Brioche Tarts, made with a rich, buttery brioche base, and topped with a creamy pasty cream and strawberries! A viennoiserie pastry that is absolutely irresistible.INTERMEDIATE - Making the brioche dough is perhaps the only challenging part of this recipe. It's not difficult, but the dough is very wet and soft. Please make sure to read about making brioche in this post here, IN CASE you've never made my brioche before. I recommend using a stand mixer to make brioche. US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions. Weight measurements are recommended for accurate results.There is an overnight proofing and chilling time in this recipe.
500gAP flour4 ⅛ cups measured by spoon and level method
10gsea salt fine grind1 ½ tsp
250gunsalted buttervery soft, roughly divided into four portions (1⅛ cups)
Vanilla custard (pastry cream)
30gcornstarchcornflour (3 tbsp)
3tspvanilla bean paste or extract OR 1 vanilla bean pod
3large egg yolks
450gstrawberrieshulled and sliced
2tbspsugar or confectioner's sugar
1eggfor egg wash
Measure all the ingredients.
Add the milk, yeast and honey into the mixing bowl and whisk gently to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
Add the eggs and yolks, vanilla, and sugar, and whisk gently to break the egg yolks.
Add the flour and sea salt, and mix with a spatula or dough whisk to form a scraggly dough.
With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on speed 2 or 3 for about 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the first portion of butter, in increments, after the first minute of kneading. Allow the butter to be mixed well into the dough. This should take about 1 - 2 minutes.
Repeat with the other 3 portions of butter, kneading the dough for about 2 minutes after each addition.
Make sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl (and the bottom) between adding butter and kneading. You will have incorporated all the butter in about 9 - 10 minutes of kneading time.
Once all the butter is incorporated, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and knead the dough for a further 5 - 15 minutes on speed 5 or 6.
The dough will have been kneaded enough when it can be lifted fairly cleanly off the bottom of the bowl when picked up with the dough hook. It will be very soft and tacky to the touch, but shouldn’t stick to your fingertips. Rather than strictly going by time, knead the dough until you have reached this consistency.
Flour your work surface, and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and the surface of the dough to prevent the dough from sticking to your palms. Then flatten the dough with your hands to deflate.
Fold in the edges of the dough towards the middle and gently press them into the dough (see pictures in my brioche bread loaf post for more information). Carefully flip the dough over, and then with the heel of your palms, shape the dough to form a tight ball.
Carefully pick up the dough ball and place it back in the mixer bowl (or another large bowl).
Let it rise until it has doubled in size, in a warm place (72°F), for about 1 hour.
Turn the proofed dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and fold in the edges again as before towards the middle and press them in. Carefully flip the dough over (seam side down now). Tighten the dough into a ball with a smooth, taut surface (using the edges of your palms). Transfer the dough into the mixer bowl again.
Cover and let it chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.
Butter 16 mini tart pans (about 12 cm in total diameter - the ones I've used here have a base of 10 cm, and 12 cm diameter on top). You can also make the tarts in an 8 or 9 inch tart pan. Place a parchment paper on the bottom of the tart pans and flour the sides. Set aside until needed.
After the dough has chilled overnight, remove the dough from the bowl and gently flatten it to de-gas the dough. Weigh the dough and divide it into 16 small portions (about 70 - 72 g per portion). You can also divide the dough into 4 for larger tarts (8 - 9 inch). Make sure to keep all the dough portions covered with plastic wrap / cloth to prevent them from drying out.
Roll each portion into a ball. Let the dough rest for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Using a small rolling pin (or something similar), roll the dough out into a flat circle that is slightly larger than the base of your tart pans. My mini tart pans are 10 cm at the base, so I rolled them out to 11 - 12 cm.
Place each dough in the prepared pans, and press the dough into the edges. Cover and let the dough proof until they look puffy (about 1.5 - 2 times the original size). The proofing time will depend on the ambient temperature (so it could take anywhere between 45 mins - 1.5 hours).
Once the dough is proofed in the tart pans, they are ready to be assembled.
Vanilla custard (pastry cream)
Make the pastry cream according to this recipe here. Make this on Day 1, and let it chill in the fridge overnight.
Once chilled, whisk the set pastry cream until it’s smooth and creamy again. Then keep it in the fridge until needed.
Prepare the strawberry topping just before you assemble the tarts.
Slice the strawberries and place them in a bowl.
Mix in the sugar, vanilla, and cardamom. Use immediately.
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Using the back of a spoon that is dipped in a little flour, lightly press down the center of the proofed dough. Do not press too hard, just enough to make a slight depression in the center. Lightly flour the spoon each time you do this, to prevent the dough from sticking to the spoon.
Do the same for larger tarts, gently pressing the dough in the center (leaving a 3 inch border along the edge).
Add 2 - 3 tbsp of pastry cream into the center of each mini tart and spread it, leaving a border along the edge.
Do the same for your larger tarts, spreading a layer of pastry cream in the center (about ¾ cm thick). Make sure to leave a 1.5 inch border along the edge.
Place a generous amount of sliced strawberries on top of the custard.
Whisk the egg for the egg wash, and brush the exposed border of the tarts with the egg wash. Sprinkle pearl sugar on the exposed border (optional).
Bake the tarts in the preheated oven until the dough is a darker golden brown in color. This can take about 20 minutes for small tarts, and longer for the large tarts.
Remove from the oven and let the tarts cool down slightly. Then carefully remove the tarts from the tart pans, and let them cool further on a wire rack. These strawberry custard tarts taste best when slightly warm.