Desserts · Tarts

Sablé Breton Tart

Pistachio crème mousseline, orange slices and dark chocolate atop a giant buttery cookie. # 244: Sablé Breton Tart

My take on a truly evil Prue Leith technical challenge from the most recent GBBO season. My winter version uses orange slices instead of summery strawberries and raspberries, and I omitted the fresh raspberry jam as well. I basically made it taste like my favorite flavor combo without realizing it! Sorry, not sorry.

You should have seen my face when this technical challenge was introduced. They called it a tart, but it looks like no tart I’ve ever seen! Whatever Dame Prue may call it, this is a giant (delicious) cookie piled high with a flavored custard cream and topped with all the fun stuff. I really love the textural contrast between the rich crème mousseline and the crispy meringues.

This is no ordinary cookie, tis a fancy French cookie. The name sets your expectations right off the bat:

  • Sablé (sand) – It has a lovely, crumbly texture when you bite into it.
  • Breton (from the Brittany region of France) – I associate all French pastries with a buttery richness, in this case it’s almost like a fluffier shortbread.

The dough only uses egg yolks, which is perfect since you can use the leftover egg whites to make the meringue garnishes! Warning: two egg whites will make a veritable army of mini meringues. Definitely not a bad thing, especially if you have extra dark chocolate to dip them in.

This is one of those every-bowl-in-the-house kind of recipes, so you’ll want to reserve a hefty chunk of your morning for it. It’s a little sneaky since each element on their own is relatively straightforward. But then you remember you have to do four of them, involving two trips to the oven, a stovetop moment and some chilling in the fridge. Translation: this recipe pairs well with a good audiobook and a free Saturday morning.

There should be a word for the specific joy of mixing batter with a wooden spoon.

Off to the fridge for a nap. No no, for the dough, not you!

Crème mousseline time! This is essentially pastry cream but with cooked flour as the thickener instead of cornstarch, and a bit more butter added in.

Ready for my arm workout!

I promise my butter was room temperature, but it still refused to fully mix into the custard. Next time I’m going to mix it in while the custard is still slightly warm, like I do with my pastry cream recipe.

Meringue in training.


I feel like a mad scientist whenever I’m checking my meringue, but really it’s magic. With a little air and time, you can transform a slimy egg white into a stiff cloud that stays put when held upside down. Egg proteins are so cool!

I warned you… the cutest army you ever did see.

Long time no see, my little dough friend. Even though it’s been chilling for an hour, I still recommend rolling it out in the plastic or parchment paper you wrapped it in. It’s a super soft dough, no matter the temperature.

It probably won’t stick, but I’m staying on the safe parchment-papered side. There are too many other variables involved in this recipe.

Such a lovely sunny color!

Ok ok, this a rushed attempt at making tempered chocolate curls. Next time I’ll spread the chocolate out thinner and find something in my kitchen that is closer to a chocolate comb than a toothpick.

My neighbor and childhood cooking teacher Weezie taught me how to slice oranges like a pro. You slice off the top and bottom first, so it has a flat surface to balance on. Then with a sharp knife, you carefully cut down the sides following the curve of the fruit. The goal is to get rid of the peel and all the pith so you’re left with just the good stuff!

The cookie is sturdy enough that you can pick it up and take a big bite. Who needs a knife and fork? Just watch out for chocolate shards up your nose.

This sablé Breton cookie would make an amazing base for strawberry shortcake! With some mascarpone whipped cream and some fresh strawberries? *chef’s kiss*

Happy munching!

Recipe mostly from:

3 thoughts on “Sablé Breton Tart

  1. I recently discovered the joy of watching GBBO (I know! Have I been living under a rock all this time?!) and think of you often. You are so ready to compete!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s