Here in SE Michigan, Spring is an iffy season. One day the temperatures will hit the 80s, and the next, will sulk somewhere in the 50s. Springtime is hot and cold and wet and dry and we get all kinds of weather. This makes meal planning a challenge. Will we want something hot or cool? Light or hearty? My answer is: make a mushroom tart.
This mushroom tart is perfect no matter what the thermometer reads, and mushrooms are always easy to find. If you have access to fresh wild mushrooms, they’ll make this tart even better, but store-bought white ‘button’ mushrooms work very well.
The crust is made with both flour and a bit of cornmeal, and is fairly simple to roll out between sheets of waxed paper. Once the dough is in the pan, chill it, and then par-bake the crust until it’s lightly golden brown around the edges. Set the tart shell to cool while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, simply cook mushrooms with shallots, garlic, and thyme. Create an enriched custard with mascarpone cheese, milk, and eggs; add the cooked and cooled mushrooms, and then, finally bake a splendid tart.
Recipes come from all sorts of places! I’ll always let readers know when I’ve adapted someone’s good ideas and turned them into something on my own blog; it’s only fair. I adapted this recipe from the Wild Mushroom Tart published in Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – a book I highly recommend! You may also like the blog SmittenKitchen which is full of good things, though this tart does not appear on the blog.
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 c + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, in small piece -- plus some to grease foil
- 1 egg
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp unsalted buter
- 2 medium shallots, finly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minved
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 1½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup aged Gouda or Gruyere cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
FOR THE CRUST
- Put the flour, cornmeal and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add in the butter and pulse until the butter is in tiny bits. Add the egg and process until the dough starts to clump together. It will look like wet sand.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to bring it together. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle, rolling out the dough between two pieces of waxed paper.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan and press the dough against the bottom and sides. Remove any excess dough from the top. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- After chilling: Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly butter one side of a 12-inch square of aluminum foil. Press the foil firmly against the bottom and sides of the crust, butter side down. You don’t need to use pie weights.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and bake another 5 to 8 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown around the edges. Set aside on a wire rack until the filling is ready. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚.
MAKE THE FILLING
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallots are soft. Add in the garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium high and add in the mushrooms. If the mushrooms won’t all fit in your skillet, add as many as you can, and as they cook down you’ll be able to add more to the pan.
- Cook about 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Put the Mascarpone in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the milk, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the eggs. Add in the grated cheeses and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add in the cooled mushrooms and mix to combine.
BAKE THE TART
- Carefully pour the mixture into the parbaked tart shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until slightly puffed and lightly golden brown on the top. If you insert the tip of a small knife into the center, it should not release any wet custard. Let the tart cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.