Tarte Tropezienne

After a weekend in St Tropez where I ate way too many Tartes Tropezienne (a brioche filled with vanilla pastry cream), I came back home and decided to try and make it. I dedicate this dessert to my friend Megan who lived and breathed this stuff the entire weekend. I think she still dreams of it a week later…


300 g of all-purpose flour

4 g of salt

20 g of white sugar

3 eggs

15 g of yeast (not instant – the real baker’s stuff)

2 tbsp of warm milk

100 g room-temp butter

100 g of rock sugar

  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, the white sugar, and the milk, and let stand a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, pour the flour, the salt, the yeast mixture, the eggs, and the butter. Beat on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until your dough is glossy and elastic.
  3. Make a ball and place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Place it in a tart mould and flatten it out with damp fingers. Let rise again for another hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the top of the brioche with all of the rock sugar. Bake for 10 minutes (you don’t want your brioche to brown – mine was too brown), then cover the top with foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool before slicing in half.


Vanilla-Bean Pastry Cream

1 liter of 2% milk

1 vanilla bean, sliced in ½ lengthwise

200 g of white sugar

8 egg yolks

140 g of all-purpose flour

200 g of room-temp butter

1 tsp of salt

  1.  Scrape the vanilla bean and place the seeds and the pod in a saucepan with the milk. Warm over medium-high heat until the milk simmers. At that point turn off the heat and cover with a lid to let the vanilla infuse.
  2. In another bowl, beat the yolks and the sugar until the mixture whitens. Add the flour and the salt, and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Rid the milk of the vanilla pod, then slowly pour it over your yolks all the while whisking. Don’t stop whisking or you might cook your yolks! When your mixture is smooth, pour it back into the saucepan. Heat to medium-high without ever stopping whisking. You most probably will experience a mild arm cramp by this point but you must not stop beating the cream. It will thicken in approximately 2-3 minutes. The result will be worth the pain. 🙂
  4. Take your mixture off the stove and let it cool down. Then add the butter, piece by piece. If the cream separates, refrigerate for an hour then whisk again.


To assemble:

  1. Slice the brioche in half. Place all the pastry cream (or nearly all – you can use the extra to ladle on a cooked tart shell which you could then cover with sliced strawberries) on the bottom layer, then cover with top layer.
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing. It is completely normal that some pastry cream leaks out when you cut through it.
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