Tried and True Shiitake Mushroom Tart

Tried and True Shiitake Mushroom Tart

This tart is rich and flavorful, it is hard to imagine that just a few ingredients can make up such an elegant appetizer. We recommend cutting it into thin wedges or 2 inch squares. Pipe a dot of boursin cheese thinned with sour cream or buttermilk to the top of each piece for perfection. You can use your favorite pie crust recipe but we prefer a crust made with all butter. In fact, we use this pie dough recipe for almost everything relating to pies. This recipe makes enough dough for 2 single crust tarts/pies.

2 ½ c flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 c. unsalted butter, chilled.
¼- ½ c cold water

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl and chill. When everything is cold, quickly incorporate the cold butter (chop the butter into small cubes if possible, first) and incorporate this into the flour with a pastry cutter. Working quickly, drizzle in the cold water until you have a barely cohesive ball. Cut in half, pat into rounds and wrap in waxed paper. Chill at least an hour or freeze for months.

Filling (Duxelle mixture):
We recommend chopping the mushrooms first into a fine chop (1/4 inch cubes) which makes it easier to cut the finished tart into small pieces.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 ½lb (16 oz) shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped.
½ large onion, chopped fine
2 large garlic finely minced
¼ tsp dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh
½ cup dry sherry
½ tsp kosher salt or to tast
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1½oz finely grated fresh asiago, blue or your favorite, flavorful cheese.

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon whole milk

Well in advance, melt the butter and oil, sauté the onion, then garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and remaining ingredients except the cheese. Sauté until the mixture is dark and nearly caramel; add in the sherry at the end to deglaze the pan and cooking a little more until the mixture is moist but with just a sheen of liquid in the pan. Cool the mixture.

Roll out the dough and fit into a tart pan. If your dough tends to be thick, prick the bottom of the crust a few times with tines of a fork. Pre-bake the tart at 400F for about 10 minutes, otherwise the tart does not need pre-baking.

While the crust is cooling slightly, stir the grated cheese into the duxelles. Spread the mixture over the crust in a smooth, even layer. If you are good at handling pastry, you can also roll out the second crust and add a beautiful lattice to the tart; an elegant touch to the dark filling.

Brush the pastry with the egg wash and bake 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Serving suggesting: Top with a dollop or a crumble of your favorite cheese