Berry Brioche with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream
Pretty tarts are made from brioche filled with a mixture of fresh berries. The tarts are served with homemade Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream -- Tahitian vanilla is very aromatic -- but may be served with excellent-quality purchased ice cream to simplify the recipe.
- Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream
- Milk - 2 cups
- Cream - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1-1/3 cup
- Pinch of salt
- Tahitian vanilla beans - 3
- Egg Yolks - 22
- Half-and-half - 1 cup
- Tepid water - 1-1/2 teaspoons
- Active Dry Yeast - 3/4 ounce
- Eggs - 4
- All-Purpose Flour - 3-1/2 cups, sifted
- Sugar - scant 1/3 cup
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter - 4 ounces, softened
- Berry Filling
- Mixed Berries - 6 cups (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Cornstarch - 3 tablespoons
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla Extract - 1 tablespoon
- Pinch of salt
- Turbinado sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Berry Coulis
- Mixed Berries - 1-1/2 cups
- Simple Syrup - 1/2 cup
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Creme Anglaise - 1 cup
- Mint sprigs - 10
- Sugar spirals or zig-zags - ten, 6-inch (optional)
To make the ice cream: Combine the milk, cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Split the vanilla beans and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture, then drop in the pods. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and set aside for 2 minutes to steep. Lightly whisk the egg yolks to break them up, then whisk in a spoonful of the hot milk mixture. Pour the yolks into the hot milk mixture, whisking gently to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently but constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice. Let chill, stirring occasionally as the mixture cools. When it is cold, stir in the half-and-half. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Pack into airtight freezer containers and freeze until ready to use.
To prepare the brioche: Oil a large mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk the water, yeast, and eggs together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and salt with the paddle attachment on low speed. Slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Add the butter, a few small pieces at a time, until the butter is incorporated. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Put the dough in the oiled bowl; the mixture will be soft. Cover with plastic wrap and place a towel on top. Refrigerate overnight.
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Divide the cold dough into 10 portions, roll into balls, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Flour a work surface and roll out each ball of dough into a 6-inch circle. Brush off any excess flour. Refrigerate again. Place the circles on a work surface. Pinch the edge with your thumb and forefinger and twist slightly, turning up a collar all around each circle. Prick the bottoms with a fork and place on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the edges of the brioche with cool water and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
To finish: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Gently toss the filling ingredients together. Mound into the prepared brioche tart shells; the filling will cook down. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until the filling bubbles and the edges are golden brown. Remove and keep warm.
To prepare the coulis: Puree the ingredients in a food processor or blender and strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Put in a squeeze bottle.
To serve: Place a brioche tart on each dessert plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Spoon berry coulis over the plates. Place drops of creme anglaise in the coulis and pull through with a toothpick of the tip of a sharp knife to form a design. Top each with a scoop of Tahitian vanilla ice cream and garnish with a sprig of mint and (optional) sugar spiral.