Gateau a La Crème

This recipe takes time but is not difficult. The enriched dough is started the day before, rested and firmed up overnight in the fridge and then rolled out the next day. This classic French tart is absolutely gorgeous and I urge you to try it.


This dough is best made by machine fitted with a dough hook. Place the yeast, milk, sugar, flour, eggs and salt into the bowl and mix on a low speed until the dough is well combined. With the motor running, add in then the soft butter – little by little until well incorporated.. Leave the machine running for around five minutes or so or until the dough becomes smooth and stretchy. This is a very wet dough.

Grease a mixing bowl and transfer the dough, cover with a shower cap and leave in a warm place to rise. The oven with only the light on is just the right heat for proving.  Leave the dough for about two hours or until doubled in size.

Lightly flour the work surface and transfer the risen dough. This mix is very soft and difficult to handle so I just use a bench scraper to help knock it back and form into a ball.  Pop it back into the bowl, cover again with the shower cap then pop into the fridge and leave overnight to rest and firm up.

The next day start by mixing the filling. Simply pop all of the ingredients together in a bowl and beat together until smooth. Take the dough from the fridge and divide into two. The dough is very easy to handle, roll out and mould.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out to a circle large enough to fill and overlap the pastry ring.  Once the dough is fitted into the ring use the rolling pin as an aid to trim the edges away.

Prick the bottom of the dough then pop into the oven with just the light on and allow to prove for one hour.

If you decide to freeze one of your dough cases then pop it into the freezer before this second prove. When ready to use, take from the freezer and thaw then allow to prove for one hour.

15 minutes before the end of the proving time preheat the oven to 200degrees c (fan)

Take the one egg yolk and use a pastry brush to carefully apply an egg wash to the rim of the risen dough. Pop the remainder of this egg yolk with the filling and give a stir. Pour the filling into risen dough case then carefully slide into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is a dark golden brown and the filling is set.

Best served at room temperature.

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