“This is a rich and immensely satisfying dessert that is well worth the effort; this time, the proof is in the proving! Just inhale those warmly provocative vapours of the sweet/sour rising dough, the light yeast fermenting; it lingers temptingly, just as when you pass a fine bakery in the early hours.”
Difficulty rating: Easy
Serves (Yield): 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 22 minutes
Special equipment: 1 x 8in by 1⁄2in flan ring
For the dough
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 30ml milk, warm
- 3 pinches sea salt
- 250g white flour
- 3 eggs, free-range/organic, medium
- 175g butter, unsalted
- 2 tbsp sugar
For the crème filling
- 4 egg yolks, organic/ free range, medium (+ 1 egg yolk, reserved for egg washing)
- 3 tbsp sugar, caster
- 1 lemon zested
- 130ml crème fraiche
- 2 tsp sugar, caster (sprinkling on top)
- 10g diced butter for the topping (optional)
For the first proving
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.
- In an electric mixer bowl, place the flour, salt, sugar, eggs, yeast and milk mixture. Mix for 5 minutes on low power.
- Then beat in the soft butter.
- Turn the mixer up to medium power and continue to beat the mixture for a further 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough into a large bowl and cling film.
- Allow to prove in a warm area for 2 hours. The temperature needs to be about 30°C (*1), so the airing cupboard is ideal.
- Then knock back the dough to remove most of the air and chill in the fridge till firm.
Rolling the dough and the second proving
- Lightly flour the work surface and your hands.
- Bring the dough together with the palms of your hands to form a ball, flatten slightly and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle.
- Fold the dough over the rolling pin and gently drape the dough over a (21cm x 21⁄2cm) baking tin or flan ring.
- With one hand, lift the dough and with the other hand gently tuck the dough into the bottom edge of the tart mould so that it fits tightly.
- Be careful not to stretch the dough.
- Cut off any excess dough by rolling the pin over the edge of the tart.
- Place the dough in the warm area for a further 25 minutes.
For the crème topping
- In a large mixing bowl mix the egg yolks, sugar and lemon zest together and gradually mix in the crème fraiche and reserve.
Egg-washing the rim, and cooking
- Brush the rim of the gateau with the egg yolk and dock the base of the dough evenly with the end of a fork to help the even cooking and rising of the dough.
- Pour the crème mixture over the dough and sprinkle with 10g of sugar and dot with the butter. Place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Chef’s notes (*)
1* A slightly higher or lower temperature is fine as long as you adjust the proving time accordingly.
Some fruit placed in the cream before baking would be delicious: fresh figs cut in half, caramelised apple, pear or banana, some cherries macerated in kirsch and a little sugar would all work well as suggestions.