Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard – “Pesche di Prato”

A simple shortcut makes this creamy indulgence easy as a "peach". Light, airy bricoche, filled with a not-too-sweet custard.

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard – “Pesche di Prato”

It was so difficult to decide which of all the yummy desserts indigenous to Tuscany to try at home, but I really wanted to introduce something to the boys that wasn’t remotely like anything they’ve had before. And this lovely and beautiful treat caught my attention because it looks like a tray of peaches… yummy, sugar-coated peaches.

Tuscan sweet brioche with vanilla custard, called Pesche di Prato, was created in 1861 to celebrate the reunification of Italy, is traditionally served at celebratory gatherings and is quite popular for birthdays. But I made it because it was a random Friday and why not?

This peach mimic is basically a brioche bun split in half, cored, filled with vanilla custard, placed back together and dipped into an Italian liqueur called Alchermes, then coated with sugar. A mint leaf completes the trick of the eye.

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

Even though I’m the dessert maker at home, baking breads continues to intimidate me, so I took a shortcut. My local bakery makes divine mini brioche buns. So why not shave a few hours, get a 1/2 dozen and focus my efforts on making a custard of my dreams.

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

Taking a serrated knife, cut out the center of the bun to make way for the custard. Just between you and me, I think Eddie made the holes a little too small. I mean it’s about the custard, you know?

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard - Pesche di Prato
Grand Marnier and Grenadine

The traditional recipe calls for the brioche to be dipped into the Alchermes, but it’s not a liqueur that I could find locally nor online. But I was comfortable replacing it with a similar-tasting liqueur mix, Grand Marnier and Grenadine. (I did a quick Google search for substitutions and think we nailed it).

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

Cover the dipped brioche bun with granulated white sugar.

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

After filling the bun with custard be sure to layer some around the edges so it can stick to the other half. gently set it down and give the custard and brioche sometime to get to know each other. “let em’ kiss”.

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

now they have kissed….

Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

Suggestions and Alternatives

  • garnish with a mint leaf. You can remove the Grand Marnier from the recipe completely if you like, but why would you.
  • if you want a firmer custard like I do, put your buns in the refrigerator for about an hour.

As you can imagine this recipe was a hit, Both the custard and the buttery brioche worked so well together.



Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

Custard-filled Brioche buns dipped in liqueur and sugar.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian, tuscany
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 384 kcal


Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard

  • 8 Brioche buns small
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier quality
  • 1/4 cup Grenadine quality
  • 8 oz. milk + three oz.
  • 8 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean quality
  • 4 oz. sugar about 1/2 cup
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 6 tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 oz. butter


Custard (Creme Patisserie)

  1. Combine milk, cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a simmer

  2. Remove from heat and let the vanilla bean steep for 15 minutes. (you can use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract as an alternative).

  3. If you're using fresh vanilla beans scrape of the seeds and mix into the mixture.

  4. Combine eggs and sugar, whisking vigorously until combined.

  5. Mix cornstarch with 3 oz. milk until dissolved.

  6. Over medium heat, bring the milk and cream mixture to a gentle simmer. Pour heated mixture over the egg and sugar mixture, whisking continuously. 

  7. Pour the mixture back into the pan and add the cornstarch and milk mixture, then stir over medium heat until a soft boil and it begins to thicken.

  8. Fill large bowl with ice and water.
  9. Put the bottom of the pan into the ice bath and continue stirring to cool, but still slightly warm.

  10. Add butter until combined.

  11. Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap against the surface and refrigerate. 

Instructions for Tuscan Sweet Brioche with Vanilla Custard - "Pesche di Prato"

  1. cut a hole 1/2 in to bottom of pipping bag and fill with custard creme. set aside.

  2. using a serrated knife cut a hole 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep to bottom of both brioche buns.

  3. dip 1 end of the brioche bun in Grand Marnier and Grenadine mix

  4. then dip coated bun in sugar.

  5. fill hole with custard creme and around edges of buns.

  6. glue the 2 buns together and let it rest for 2 minutes

  7. garnish with mint and serve.

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