Brioche bun filled with vanilla pastry cream, fresh blueberries and shortbread crumble. Best enjoyed fresh out the oven.


Makes 9 little buns.


Brioche dough, after its second rise overnight in the fridge.

250g fresh blueberries.

Egg wash (see below)

1 quantity pastry cream (see below)

1 quantity crumble topping (see below)

Icing sugar, for dusting


  1. To make the brioche buns, take the prepared dough out of the fridge. While it is still cold, use your hands to gently roll it into a sausage shape and cut into 9 equal pieces. Shape them into little balls by rolling them briefly between the palm of your hand and the worktop.
  2. Place these on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, leaving 5cm gaps between each one. Put the baking sheet inside a large plastic bag, well-inflated with air so that the bag doesn’t come into contact with the dough, and leave on the worktop to rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.
  4. When the brioche buns have risen, remove the plastic bag, take a pastry brush and gently lacquer the buns all over with egg wash. Use two or three fingers to press down gently down into the centre of each bun to create a central well, leaving a generous raised border all around the edge. This will puff up as the buns bake, protecting the filling in the centre.
  5. Drop two generous tablespoons of pastry cream into the well. Top each bun with fresh blueberries, pressing them lightly into the cream.
  6. Sprinkle the raw crumble topping around the edge of each brioche and bake for 15-18 minutes until both the dough and the crumble are golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.



20g fresh yeast

2 tbsp milk, at room temperature

500g strong white flour

5 eggs, at room temperature

50g sugar

250g salted butter, at room temperature (plus an extra 50g to grease the baking tins)

2 tsp fine sea salt


  1. With a fork, whisk together the yeast and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to sit for a few minutes. Add the flour, eggs, sugar and half the butter.
  2. Knead with the dough hook at low speed to a soft dough for 3-4 minutes. With the machine running, start to add the rest of the butter, one lump at a time. When it has all been incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to knead for another 6-8 minutes.
  3. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, add the salt and increase the speed to fast. Continue mixing until the dough is shiny, smooth and elastic.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a clean, damp tea towel.
  5. Leave at room temperature to rise for 1½-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. Then, use your fist to knock the dough down inside the bowl to take the air out of it.
  6. Cover the bowl in cling film and put in the fridge to rest overnight.



½ vanilla pod

250ml milk

50g caster sugar

3 egg yolks

20g cornflour 


  1. Split open the vanilla pod lengthwise with a sharp knife and use the edge of the blade to scrape out the seeds. Put the pod and seeds into a small, heavy-based saucepan along with the milk and the sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cornflour until pale in colour.
  3. Heat the milk and sugar mixture until just boiling, stirring regularly. Gently and very slowly, pour it onto the yolks – just a dribble at first – while you whisk constantly with a balloon whisk.
  4. When all the milk has been added to the yolks and is whisked in well, strain through a fine sieve and back into the saucepan. Keep the vanilla pod and return it to the pan.
  5. Over a low heat, stir the pastry cream until it thickens into a custard. Once it starts to bubble, cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring all the time.
  6. Pour into a clean bowl and cover with cling film, pressing the film right down so that it touches the surface of the pastry cream – this is a handy trick that prevents a skin from forming.
  7. Chill for at least 1 hour before using, or overnight.



150g plain flour

100g salted butter, chilled and diced

50g caster sugar


  1. Put the flour and butter in a bowl and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour (you also can do this using a mixer fitted with the beater attachment) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sugar and continue until you’re left with large crumbles – distinct nuggets of buttery dough should form. Don’t be afraid to really go for it and work the dough, pressing and rubbing it together between your fingertips.
  3. Spread the crumble out on a plate or baking sheet lined with baking paper and chill for at least an hour in the fridge, or overnight. Don’t cover – the cold air in the fridge will help to dry it out and make it even crumblier. It will keep for 3-4 days.
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