Tarte Au Sucre

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It seems that Tarte Au Sucre, or Sugar Pie is different between France and Belgium and North Ameria. In France and Belgium, from the recipes I have read they tend to be a brioche type bread recipe, whereas in North America it appears that a shortcrust pastry is preferred.  For my attempt I found a recipe in the Telegraph, by Bruno Loubet.  

In the instructions it says to push the edge up, about 1 cm, to form a rim.  I did this, but it didn’t stay in place during cooking, and some sugar dripped off.  Not to worry it didn’t mean things were a complete disaster, as the resultant tarte was nicely cooked and tastes very good indeed.

Some of the recipes I read rolled out the dough, having rested it for longer than this recipe, and then prodded hole over the dough.  This allowed cream, or cream fraiche to slip into the dips.  I wanted to do that, but since I couldn’t find a recipe in English with that method I decided to stick rigidly to this version.

Tarte au Sucre
  • 5g (⅛oz) fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 350g (12 oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 160g (5¾oz) butter, softened and cut into cubes
For the topping:
  • 70g (2¾oz) crème fraîche
  • 60g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 60g (2oz) demerara sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  1. In a mixing-bowl, dissolve the yeast in 175ml (6fl oz) lukewarm water, then add the sugar and 50g (1¾oz) of the flour. Whisk well, then cover with clingfilm and place in a warm place for about 15 minutes – the mixture should become bubbly and double in volume.
  2. Place the remaining flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the eggs, egg yolk, a pinch of salt and the yeast and mix on a medium speed. It will take about five minutes for the dough to gain some elasticity; then add the butter, a few cubes at a time, ensuring each is incorporated before adding the next. Mix for a further two minutes, until the dough is elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate for an hour. Preheat the oven to 195°C/ 375°F/gas mark 5½.
  4. Form the dough into a ball, place on a lightly floured non-stick baking-sheet, and roll out to a circle of 32-35cm (12½-13¾in) diameter. With the tip of a finger, push the dough about 1cm (½in) in from the edge all around to form a small rim. Spread the crème fraîche all over the tart then sprinkle over the sugars and lemon zest and bake for about 20 minutes, until it feels spongy and is golden brown all over. Check that the underneath is cooked, too.
  5. Serve with a good jam.

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