As Lemon Pi doesn't specify a brioche recipe, I started fossicking around on the internet and found that this is not a dough that people recommend making by hand. A hand mixer won't do the job either, as the dough is so thick that it will break most hand mixers - apparently only a stand mixer with a dough hook will do!
... of course I have nothing of the kind.
Unable to lay my hands on a stand mixer in time, and not willing to wait to borrow one, I decided to just take the plunge and do it by hand. Despite almost psyching myself out of it - "omg I will never finish kneading this stupid dough!" - in the end the process was a lot more fun than I'd expected.
The brioche recipe below, sourced from The Madison Bistro, makes about 1kg of dough (twice as much as you need for the tart) so I also made a batch of mini brioche loaves which I served up with Maggie Beer's pheasant pate.
The two brioche dishes, plus Chengy's Pear Pudding, and delicious Milky Oolong Tea from Zensation, made for a chilled out public holiday afternoon tea.
This is more of a bread than a cake, so you need to set aside the time to make the dough and then let it prove overnight. On the day of baking you'll again need to wait for this to prove for at least a couple of hours - this is not a recipe to be done on the spur of a moment!
Below is the recipe for mixing by hand, but you can find the stand mixer instructions at the original post. Again, note that this will make twice as much dough as you require for the tart.
1/3 cup warm water (about 40 C)
1 package yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
6 large eggs (room temperature)
4 cups bread flour, divided
2 tsp salt
230g unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 large egg (for egg wash)
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Mix with fingers and let sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should be foamy - if not, start over with fresh yeast.
Add six eggs and mix with a hand mixer or wooden spoon until well blended. Add two cups flour and mix on low for about five minutes.
Switch to a workboard. Add remaining 2 cups of flour and salt and work the dough by hand until it starts coming off the surface of your workboard. It will be really sticky and it's going to be sticky for a long time, so make sure you've got a long playlist on your music player going BEFORE you get to this stage. Or be prepared to get dough all over your ipod.
Stretch the dough out and add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time, folding the dough over and working to incorporate. Repeat until all butter is added, and the dough pulls away from workboard and looks kind of shiny. The original recipe says this will take about 25 minutes - I was quite a bit slower! More like 35 minutes.
Refrigerate the dough overnight in large buttered bowl covered in plastic wrap.
The next day, bring the dough to room temperature (about 1-2 hours). If you went by the measurements above, you should have about 1kg of dough.
500g is enough for the tart - see below for assembly and custard instructions.
You can freeze the remaining 500g of dough for later, or bake it in a loaf pan (instructions), or, as I did, make mini brioche rolls.
To make the mini rolls, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. For each roll, stretch the dough slightly and tuck ends under to form ball. Place seam side down in a greased or non-stick muffin pan, cover with kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours. Brush each with egg wash and bake at 180C for about 18-20 minutes, until golden-brown.
500g brioche dough
5-6 ripe persimmons
120g Greek yogurt
60g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease a 28 cm fluted tart tin. Roll the brioche dough out to a rough circle that is large enough to fit the tin and line the tin with the dough.
Lightly press the edges up against the sides of the tin (this, I found hard to do - my 'edge' was almost non-existent!). Cover with clingfilm and allow to prove until double.
Slice the persimmons as thinly as possible and arrange them, slightly overlapping, on the dough.
To make the custard: whisk together the yogurt, sugar, egg yolks, cinnamon, cornflour and vanilla extract. Pour the custard over the persimmon slices (here I failed a bit - I had too much custard for my tart, and so my tart looks a bit drowned in custard, as in the photo below!).
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 C, then reduce the temperature to 150 C and continue baking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until the brioche is golden brown.
Allow the tart to cool until just warm before serving. This tart is best eaten on the day it is made. It's not too sweet and quite light, so it's a good tart to have with tea or coffee.
Adapted from Lemon Pi and The Madison Bistro.