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Caramelized Apple Brioche

Holiday 2015
201506059.jpg
food and drink

BY: Joanne Yolles

Similar to a Danish pastry, complete with a soft vanilla custard and caramelized apples, these brioche pastries will be a sophisticated addition to your baking repertoire. The components can all be made one to two days in advance, leaving only the final assembly and baking for the day of serving.

PASTRY CREAM

1 cup (250 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
½ vanilla bean
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter

CARAMELIZED APPLES

2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, divided
½ cup (125 mL) sugar, divided
4 large Royal Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch thick (5 mm) slices
1 recipe Brioche (recipe follows)
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp (10 mL) water
½ cup (125 mL) apple jelly
Icing sugar for dusting

1 For the pastry cream, place ¾ cup (175 mL) of the milk and the sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the black seeds into the milk; add the pod as well. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

2 Whisk the remaining ¼ cup (60 mL) milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture and combine well. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place back over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until very thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Scrape the pastry cream into a separate bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled. The pastry cream can be prepared 3 days in advance.

3 For the caramelized apples, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar and half the apple slices. Cook, tossing frequently, about 5 minutes, or until the apples are tender and well caramelized but still hold their shape. Transfer the apples to a bowl and repeat with remaining butter, sugar and apple slices. Cool completely.

4 To assemble the brioche, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Combine the 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar with the cinnamon.

5 On a floured surface, roll the brioche dough to a 10 x 10-inch (25 x 25-cm) square. Brush lightly with beaten egg and top with the cinnamon sugar. With a sharp knife, and cutting straight down, cut ten 1-inch-wide (2.5-cm) strips. Working with 1 strip at a time, place hands on either end of the strip and roll in opposite directions to create a tight twist of dough that encloses the cinnamon sugar. Spiral the twist inward to create a circular shape, tucking the end under. Place the circle of dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining strips of dough, placing them at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk, about 1½ hrs.

6 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

7 Remove the vanilla pod from the chilled pastry cream. Whisk the pastry cream until it is smooth and spreadable. Place a rounded tablespoon (15 mL) of pastry cream in the centre of each brioche spiral. To form the apple rosettes, take one slice of caramelized apple and roll it with your hands until it is tight. This will be the core of the rosette. Take another apple slice and roll it around the rosette core. Keep adding one apple slice at a time, overlapping as you go, using 5 or 6 apple slices for each rosette. Place one apple rosette overtop the pastry cream on each brioche spiral. Bake the brioche until it is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

8 Place the apple jelly in a small pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the hot jelly over the apples just to coat, then sift icing sugar over the edges.

Makes 10

BRIOCHE
Plan ahead when making this brioche dough. It must be prepared the day before and refrigerated overnight before shaping and baking. There are three stages of preparation: the “sponge,” final dough, and finally the addition of the butter. Your mixer (hopefully it’s a heavy-duty one) will definitely get a workout, so be sure it’s not too close to the edge of the counter. Note that this recipe calls for medium-size eggs. If you choose to use large eggs that you may already have on hand, lightly beat the second one and only use half in the dough; the second half could be used where an egg wash is required. Rapid-rise, instant yeast works well here. No need to dissolve or “proof” ahead of time; simply add the yeast directly to the dry ingredients.

SPONGE
¾ cup (175 mL) bread flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) rapid-rise instant yeast
2 tbsp (30 mL) cold, unsalted butter,cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces
5 tbsp (75 mL) milk

FINAL DOUGH
¾ cup (175 mL) bread flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
¾ tsp (4 mL) rapid-rise instant yeast
2 tbsp (30 mL) plus 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
2 medium eggs
6 tbsp (90 mL) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces

1 For the sponge, combine the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and milk, and mix on low speed until well combined and no butter lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover the surface of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes. The fermentation will begin during this time, but the sponge will not expand to any noticeable degree.

2 For the final dough, place the flour, salt, instant yeast and half the sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up. Add the dry mixture along with the eggs to the sponge and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 1 or 2 times. Add the remaining sugar and mix to incorporate.

3 Add the butter in 3 additions, mixing until fully incorporated. The dough will be very soft and shiny. Wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

4 The dough can be held in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Makes enough dough for a single 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) loaf pan

What to Serve

201506059.jpg
food and drink

Caramelized Apple Brioche

Holiday 2015

BY: Joanne Yolles

Similar to a Danish pastry, complete with a soft vanilla custard and caramelized apples, these brioche pastries will be a sophisticated addition to your baking repertoire. The components can all be made one to two days in advance, leaving only the final assembly and baking for the day of serving.

PASTRY CREAM

1 cup (250 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
½ vanilla bean
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter

CARAMELIZED APPLES

2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, divided
½ cup (125 mL) sugar, divided
4 large Royal Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch thick (5 mm) slices
1 recipe Brioche (recipe follows)
2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp (10 mL) water
½ cup (125 mL) apple jelly
Icing sugar for dusting

1 For the pastry cream, place ¾ cup (175 mL) of the milk and the sugar in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the black seeds into the milk; add the pod as well. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

2 Whisk the remaining ¼ cup (60 mL) milk with the yolks and cornstarch until smooth. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture and combine well. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place back over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until very thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Scrape the pastry cream into a separate bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled. The pastry cream can be prepared 3 days in advance.

3 For the caramelized apples, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar and half the apple slices. Cook, tossing frequently, about 5 minutes, or until the apples are tender and well caramelized but still hold their shape. Transfer the apples to a bowl and repeat with remaining butter, sugar and apple slices. Cool completely.

4 To assemble the brioche, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Combine the 2 tbsp (30 mL) sugar with the cinnamon.

5 On a floured surface, roll the brioche dough to a 10 x 10-inch (25 x 25-cm) square. Brush lightly with beaten egg and top with the cinnamon sugar. With a sharp knife, and cutting straight down, cut ten 1-inch-wide (2.5-cm) strips. Working with 1 strip at a time, place hands on either end of the strip and roll in opposite directions to create a tight twist of dough that encloses the cinnamon sugar. Spiral the twist inward to create a circular shape, tucking the end under. Place the circle of dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining strips of dough, placing them at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk, about 1½ hrs.

6 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

7 Remove the vanilla pod from the chilled pastry cream. Whisk the pastry cream until it is smooth and spreadable. Place a rounded tablespoon (15 mL) of pastry cream in the centre of each brioche spiral. To form the apple rosettes, take one slice of caramelized apple and roll it with your hands until it is tight. This will be the core of the rosette. Take another apple slice and roll it around the rosette core. Keep adding one apple slice at a time, overlapping as you go, using 5 or 6 apple slices for each rosette. Place one apple rosette overtop the pastry cream on each brioche spiral. Bake the brioche until it is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

8 Place the apple jelly in a small pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the hot jelly over the apples just to coat, then sift icing sugar over the edges.

Makes 10

BRIOCHE
Plan ahead when making this brioche dough. It must be prepared the day before and refrigerated overnight before shaping and baking. There are three stages of preparation: the “sponge,” final dough, and finally the addition of the butter. Your mixer (hopefully it’s a heavy-duty one) will definitely get a workout, so be sure it’s not too close to the edge of the counter. Note that this recipe calls for medium-size eggs. If you choose to use large eggs that you may already have on hand, lightly beat the second one and only use half in the dough; the second half could be used where an egg wash is required. Rapid-rise, instant yeast works well here. No need to dissolve or “proof” ahead of time; simply add the yeast directly to the dry ingredients.

SPONGE
¾ cup (175 mL) bread flour
¼ tsp (1 mL) rapid-rise instant yeast
2 tbsp (30 mL) cold, unsalted butter,cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces
5 tbsp (75 mL) milk

FINAL DOUGH
¾ cup (175 mL) bread flour
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
¾ tsp (4 mL) rapid-rise instant yeast
2 tbsp (30 mL) plus 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
2 medium eggs
6 tbsp (90 mL) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces

1 For the sponge, combine the bread flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and milk, and mix on low speed until well combined and no butter lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover the surface of the dough loosely with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes. The fermentation will begin during this time, but the sponge will not expand to any noticeable degree.

2 For the final dough, place the flour, salt, instant yeast and half the sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk the eggs just to break them up. Add the dry mixture along with the eggs to the sponge and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Replace the paddle with the dough hook and mix the dough on low speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for an additional 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 1 or 2 times. Add the remaining sugar and mix to incorporate.

3 Add the butter in 3 additions, mixing until fully incorporated. The dough will be very soft and shiny. Wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

4 The dough can be held in the fridge for 2 days or frozen for 2 weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Makes enough dough for a single 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) loaf pan

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