Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TWD: Brioche Plum Tart


I'm really not quite sure what to say this week, because I've officially run out of ways to say "Oops, I underbaked it." I feel like I have no excuse for failing at a brioche-based recipe given how frequently I seem to make brioche these days. But the brioche in this recipe is of the "poor man's," i.e., lower butter, variety, and maybe I need the extra butter in my brioche to mask my inevitable mistakes. In any case, this one just seemed to go poorly from the beginning. To start with, I had the hardest time converting the active dry yeast that the recipe called for to the instant yeast that I had. Sure, I could have just asked Nancy, but I was determined to give the 'ol brain a workout and figure it out on my own. It's like at work - I work with a paralegal who is an honest-to-goodness math wiz, and while it's so tempting to just say "Mike, I can't figure out the post-judgment interest, can you?," sometimes I just need to prove to myself that I can still do basic math without spontaneously combusting. So while it hurt my brain, I sat there with a pencil and calculator until I finally determined that 1.5 teaspoons active dry yeast = a little more than 1 teaspoon instant. I think. That's what I used, anyway.

Dorie said that the dough would be fairly thin, more like a batter than a dough. But mine was unquestionably dough-like. Then the dough didn't seem to rise much, a problem that I always used to have, but haven't had in a while. In fact, if anything, I've had the opposite problem lately - dough that threatens to rise high enough to bust through the roof. I did the whole refrigerate/deflate routine, but my heart wasn't really in it because there wasn't really anything to deflate.

The next morning I pressed the dough into the pan.


I cut up my plums. I'm very curious to hear if anyone actually used 14 plums for this. That's a whole lot of plums. I used 5 or 6 and my tart was chock full 'o plums. Then I spread some plum jam on the dough. Actually, that's a lie. I used plum jelly, which I found at the farmer's market around the corner from my house. I never really did know what the difference is between jam and jelly, but if I could blame my tart woes on my misguided use of jelly rather than jam, I will. Topped my jam jelly with plums, and baked.

Once it started baking I began to feel better about my brioche. It was puffing up and browning nicely. I had to tent it after around 15 minutes to keep it from getting too brown. It looked done to me after 30 minutes, although, in retrospect, the juices were not bubbly. I should have baked it longer. Because:


Oh yeah! Raw dough under the jelly! And I wasn't going to try the re-bake thing again - I'd be kicked out of the club for sure if I pulled that one two weeks in a row. David worked all day on Sunday, and I could see him eyeing the tart as I headed upstairs to put the kids to bed. I told him to leave the tart alone because it was partially unbaked, and I'd have to deconstruct it to make it edible. He promised me that he would not go in without a guide.


So I cut up the plums and the baked portions of the brioche and threw them together in my beloved new pink Sur la Table ruffled ice cream bowl, and topped with ice cream. The result?

D: Where is the jam?
C: The jelly?
D: The jelly.
C: Well, unfortunately, the jelly was right on top of the raw dough, so when I scraped away the raw dough to get to the baked part, I probably scraped away most of the jelly too. Sorry.
D: Well, it kind of tastes like bread and plums with ice cream.
C: Yeah, I was afraid of that.

Thank you for this great summer pick, Denise of Chez Us. I've heard great reviews of this, so maybe I'll try it again someday when a dark cloud of bad baking luck is not hovering over my head.

48 comments:

Steph said...

I think one of the trickiest things about breads.. although many things are tricky is judging when it's ready. I end up having drier bread because I'm afraid to take it out of the oven. Good job on trying to fix it!

mike said...

It looks great! Even with the fix - I gave mine away as a dinner party "gift". Hm.... I'm wondering now if my bread was "cooked"! I'm just happy to have a simple brioche recipe (there is vitually no loaves in my town - ever). I used peaches and used about four. 14 plums? Sheeesh... Nicely done!

Marthe said...

I'm sure the undercooked dough is the jelly's fault!! Blame the jelly!! I still have to make mine, I've been a bad TWD-baker this week!!

Cakelaw said...

Hye, you gave it a burl, and we all have those recipes that for some reason just don't turn out right. Looks pretty though, 'specially in your natty pink bowls.

Lady Baker said...

Hey, at least you made it this week..I'm a Tuesday slacker today!

See, I think "bread and plums and ice cream" sound fine! Jelly or not...though perhaps I'm missing something and D really hoping to bust out with a: "Wow!! this tastes like bread and plums--and jelly--with ice cream!!!" :)

Audrey said...

I was truly wondering whether anyone was going to find plum jam, or jelly, or preserves, or whatever! You had an adventure, but I think you made an admirable save! And those bowls. I am insanely jealous of those bowls.:)

Natashya said...

Yup, no matter how experienced or confident we get with bread baking - it likes to remind us that we are not in charge.
Looks like you did a nice recovery, and you get bonus points for such a pretty pink bowl!

Pamela said...

First of all...love the new pretty pink bowl! It's great! I really enjoy when you share the David and Cathy conversations, too! Sorry it wasn't a bigger success for you. On the other hand, you've been kicking butt with all that bread baking!

Peggy said...

Seriously Cathy, I would eat it. It looks so delicious. I wouldn't even mind the raw dough. Bring it on. I have not tasted mine yet, but it is made and sitting on the counter to cool. Thanks for all your tidbits yesterday!

Megan said...

Great story - and I love the pink bowl!

Your husbands assessment of "bread and plums" was spot on, but that wouldn't stop me from eating it! And besides, I just went for the chocolate version and called it a day.

Leslie said...

Is it wrong for me to admit I'm jealous of your plums and bread and ice cream dessert? That sounds much better to me than a tart. Maybe I'm still a kid at heart. That pink bowl rocks. Off to surlatable.com to find some (even though there's a SLT a mile from my house, I know, I'm lazy).

MacDuff said...

Awesome!!! I'm so happy when something like this goes wrong for you. Honestly, I am. Because right below this is your brioche recipe, which had me thinking to myself while I was doing this - you, MacDuff, are a loser who should not be in this group. You are a loser who has no business being near brioche. Let people like the Tortefeasor handle the brioche, because she has the competence and skill set that is involved. And then something as simple as underbaking happens, and I realize that it's not just me! And Chocolatechic didn't even bother making it! Dude, I feel AWESOME!!!!!

Flourchild said...

This was a hard one to bake..it looked all nice and brown on the outsides but that dough in the middle was a trick! I love yours and I think it looks great! I used blueberries!

Anne said...

Don't feel too bad, mine was totally under baked too! I think I'll stick with Dorie's snails for all that buttery delicious dough. And once again your husband's comment is cracking me up. I think our men really would be friends!

myfamousrecipe said...

Just when I think I've gained some traction or even conquered a particular culinary skill, it flops. I love the conversation with David about how it tastes like bread and plums and ice cream. It's great fun to read your stories, however they turn out.

vibi said...

LOL LOL I shouldn't laugh really, but can't help it when you discribe your baking adventures!

Bread and plum... with ice cream. Eventhough, from here, it looks pretty good, and knowing what a brioche master you are... I can only think it was the recipe's fault.

Hummm... ahem, I didn't take any chance, yeast and I have divorced a long time ago, so I made last year's galette!!! LOL almost the same ...without the yeast.

Bravo for your courage! ...and patience.

Erin said...

I think my bottom crust was a little unbaked, too. It was hard to gague since the sides browned so quickly. I LOVE your pink bowl!

Maria said...

I always love your posts. Everything is such an event:) Love the pink bowl!

isabelle said...

Your tart looks beautiful!
Love your post and your pretty pink bowl.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Here's the plan: next time take the plum jelly and boil it up for syrup to pour over the top of the bread + plums + ice cream. Voila! Or consign the jelly to C's pb+j sandwiches. That will teach it to ruin a recipe for you. Seriously, it looks delish, undercooked or not.

Jules Someone said...

Well, it looks lovely! I had the slight underbaking thing going on as well. Not my favorite.

Teanna said...

Hey! Bread and Plums with ice cream is a tasty dish in my opinion!

pinkstripes said...

Too bad it didn't work out for you. I just use the same amount of instant as the active dry yeast called for. It makes things easier and I don't have to deal with the math.

It looks wonderful. You can't tell the underside wasn't cooked.

Jennifer said...

Ooo... pretty bowl. I love lovely little dishes but I'm fast running out of storage space.

Clivia said...

If I had some left, I'd cut it into a bowl with ice cream. Yours looks so good!

Bridgett said...

Sorry it didn't work out for you! I just love those cute pink bowls. They would make anything taste better...along with ice cream!

The Blonde Duck said...

You poor thing! They need to pick non-brioche recipes for you!

SUGAR B said...

Brioches are tricky bastards!

But hey, anything with ice cream is a happy ending in my book!

Good save!

Amanda said...

Rats! I'm sorry :-/ This is a recipe I will definitely make again, but most likely not with plums. At least you made use of the plums and cooked brioche :)

jillbert said...

I really like that pink bowl! Who cares how it turned out if you serve it in such a great bowl? :)

lasinthekitchen said...

I was wondering about the 14 plums myself - Italian prune plums must be tiny!
I had the same issue as you, my tart wasn't baked all the way through. I did put mine back in the oven for a re-bake although the end result was too soupy for the beau's co-workers.
Sorry you had trouble with the brioche plum tart, but it does look beautiful! And I love your Sur La Table ice cream dish! =)

Kayte said...

Well, it certainly looks beautiful! And I love the shot with the ice cream in the bowl...great idea. I am afraid mine will be soggy in the morning...I have decided that I am happy I made it, but that by and large, I am not a fan of anything that can become soggy. Nope, not a fan at all.

sara said...

awww. Some baking adventures are just not meant to be. I skipped this week because my heart just wasn't in it and I knew it would become a disaster. Still, sweet bread with fruit and ice cream doesn't sound all that bad - I'd eat it :)

Pam said...

What a bummer! I am sorry it didn't work out well but I love your pink bowl. :)

Debinhawaii said...

I hate when things don't work out but I love how it looks in the snazzy pink bowl!

farah said...

I'm sorry it didn't work out as expected but it still looks great. I was nervous about this one and as soon as i took my eye off the oven it got burnt. Oh well. Still tasted good :)

Tracey said...

I don't typically convert active yeast to fresh, but I did with this recipe and I think your math is spot on - it should be 1 1/8 teaspoons of instant yeast (if I calculated it correctly). Sorry it didn't work out for you. I actually like the way the deconstructed tart looks in the pretty pink bowl with the ice cream - yum! I made minis and they came out ok but the brioche sort of overtook the fruit and nutella I used.

bakingwiththeboys said...

Well, I had the opposite problem and I still wasn't thrilled with the result. I suppose you could try it again but with proven joys like the whopper drops and brownies, who needs it?
Do love the bowl.

TeaLady said...

But it looks beautiful.

Barbara Bakes said...

Sorry it didn't turn out well for you. It looks beautiful in your pretty pink bowl!

Di said...

Those pink bowls would be extremely popular around here. =) Sorry to hear this one didn't cooperate. I had a similar problem lately when I tried to make the dimply plum cake again. I say blame the plums. And the plum jelly, for being associated with plums. I'm going to try the tart this weekend, with nectarines (which I hope are still good after sitting in my fridge for a week).

nick said...

Have you ever put a reliable thermometer in your oven to see if it bakes at the temperature the setting says it's at? I'd try that and maybe put a pizza stone in there to help (I actually store mine in there).

spike. said...

ugh! so annoying. all that work for raw dough. A for effort

Jacque said...

I get the feeling everything had to be perfect about this recipe for it to turn out right. I think my fruit was too juicy, so I did bake longer than suggested, but then the bread was dry.

Ah well, we get to check this recipe off the list and move on.

Good job resurrecting it into something edible afterall@

The Food Librarian said...

Great save! And those bowls are so cute.

Gabe's Girl said...

Perfect or not, I love your posts! They are a joy to read.

AmyRuth said...

Well, I'm a week late on this, but I did it yesterday. Matter of fact I made 2. They were absolutely delicious. I did get in a hurry and tried to bake both simultaneously. They were of differing shapes and it didn't work out well so 1 was tooo brownish but done I would add. hehe Anyway, I thought it was delicious. Like a nice fresh roll with home made fruit preserves.
Jelly is without fruit bits and jams do have pieces of the fruit in them. I grew up with a little great aunt Rosa and Uncle Jess who canned a variety of preserves, jams and jellies, and Bread & Butter Pickles. I was one lucky little girl. I miss it. Lately I have been eyeing all the "goods" necessary for canning. Not yet. Not quite that old yet. hehe
Sorry about the novela. Yours looks delicious and I wish I hadn't given all mine away, yet.
AmyRuth

Mermaid Sweets said...

Man, sorry to hear about the undercooked tart. I just hate it when things don't work out perfectly, way to roll with the punches.

 
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