Wild Mushroom Tart

January 30, 2015 | By | More

mushroom tart

A few weeks ago, I took an epic vacation with my mother to the majestic central California coast in part to attend the Big Sur Forager’s Festival. Even in the days leading up to the Festival, the restaurant menus we encountered from San Francisco to Santa Cruz to Carmel-by-the-Sea and finally to Big Sur said, “Cali is crazy for mushrooms!”

mushroom tart

Far West Fungus rainbow of mushrooms

 

 

Our first stop after we landed in San Francisco was the iconic Ferry Building which was a great spot to stroll, stretch our legs and grab a light lunch. The Ferry Building is a celebration of local food with purveyors of artisan cheeses, coffee, baked goods, seafood, and yes, mushrooms.

It was at Far West Fungi that I saw some of the most colorful seasonal ‘shrooms. Later that evening, dinner at Flour + Water was ravioli stuffed with local cheese and surrounded by yellowfoot mushrooms. My dessert featured the new-to-me candy cap mushroom, which I later learned would be all over northern California dessert menus for its sweet, maple-like fragrance. The grand finale to the trip was the Grand Celebrity Chef Forager’s Dinner – six delectable courses, many highlighting mushrooms.

You might think I would have had my fill of fungus after such a trip. But, no. I came home jonesing for more mushrooms, and the first thing I went to was this tried-and-true wild mushroom tart recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman. This elegant tart combines a simple cornmeal pastry and a rich, cheesy, mushroom filling. Even if you’re cooking for one, make this tart. The leftovers can be enjoyed for days to come and, I imagine, could be frozen as well.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Crust:

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (140 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (30 grams) organic yellow cornmeal

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. (85 grams or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced, plus more

1 large egg

Filling:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

P10203732 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound cremini (or baby portobello) mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, sliced or torn into small pieces – I used a mix of chanterelle, royal trumpet, black trumpet, and oyster, but use what you can find. You can also use all creminis.

1 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup grated fontina cheese

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

mushroom tartStep one – Make the crust: 

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (140 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (30 grams) organic yellow cornmeal

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. (85 grams or 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced

1 large egg

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is in tiny bits. Add the egg and run machine for a few seconds, or until your dough clumps together.  Remove dough and form a nice, smooth ball and flatten slightly to make a disk.

In her cookbook, Deb Perelman uses a trick for rolling out this dough that I also find very helpful. And, if you do it this way, you won’t even have to flour the rolling surface, so way less mess! Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on your counter, place the dough on the plastic and top with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll the dough out between the sheets of plastic, working from the center of the circle outward, until you have a 12-inch circle. If the top plastic wrinkles up, simply peel it back carefully and replace to keep it smooth.

When you have your 12-inch circle, carefully peel off the top plastic and invert the dough and bottom sheet of plastic into a fluted, 9-inch, removable-bottom tart pan. Carefully lift and center the dough in the pan. Slowly peel back the plastic and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You will have some excess dough on the edges. You can use the excess to patch any holes. Finally, run your rolling pin over the top edge of the pan to neatly cut away the excess.

Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and place in the freezer foro 30 minutes.

Step two: 

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 12-inch square of aluminum foil and press it, butter side down, firmly against the bottom and sides of your chilled crust. Bake with foil on for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until crust is firm. Place tart shell on a cooling rack while you prepare the filling and reduce oven temperature to 350°.

mushroom tartStep three – Make the filling:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound cremini (or baby portobello) mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, sliced or torn into small pieces

1 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1/2 cup grated fontina cheese

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

mushroom tartHeat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Add the shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, until they are softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the thyme and mushrooms. You will need to add the mushrooms gradually since you’ll never have room for all of them in your pan until they start to cook down. Just keep adding, cooking and stirring until they are all in the pan.

Cook for about 10-12 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and their liquid has evaporated. Season mixture with salt and pepper and off the heat to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone cheese, milk and eggs. Add the grated cheeses and the cooled mushroom mixture. Pour mixture carefully into prepared tart shell and bake on the sheet pan for about 45 minutes. The tart should be puffy and golden on top. Let tart cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

You’ll need nothing more than a nice green salad and a good glass of wine to make a meal of this wild mushroom tart. Enjoy!

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Category: Food, General, Recipes, Winter

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