This recipe originates from the one and only Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. In anticipation of her new book, I’ve decided to try a few more recipes from her first book, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. One of the things that I love most about Deb is that she makes cooking approachable and foolproof. There are very few people (myself included) that test a recipe as many times as she does in order to work out all the kinks and/or offer words of advice before you’ve even encountered a problem. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Deb Perelman is the reason I can bake and cook. I’ve only ever had one of her recipes not work out, and it was definitely the fault of the obscenely tart raspberries. I fully believe that if Deb and I ever spent any real time together, we’d be best friends. That’s not creepy at all, right? *Mastermind plays in the background*
This week was spent painfully working on the business plan for my business, Eat Me Bakery. I am lucky to have an organization helping me come up with costs and projections, because numbers are not my strong suit. But, honestly, even with help the task is mentally exhausting. How could I possibly know how much money I could make my first year? How could anyone know that? Should I have a better idea? I try to remind myself almost daily that most small business owners didn’t know how to write a business plan when they started, either. I also remind myself that far dumber people have gotten through this to opening a successful small business. I CAN FUCKING DO THIS.
I also got the exciting news that there are other folks on my biological dad’s side of the family that might want to meet me. Life is wild, y’all.
Do you think they like mushrooms as much as I do?
Real talk: This recipe calls for a total of 680g of mushrooms, but I only had about 500g on hand. I also only had cream cheese, not mascarpone, and I used white onion instead of shallots. Don’t tell Deb.
Wild Mushroom Tart
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (30g) yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, chilled, diced, plus additional to grease foil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (I used white onion)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound (225g) cremini or brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound (455g) assorted wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, or chanterelles (if unavailable, use more creminis), sliced or torn into small segments
1 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup (60g) mascarpone cheese, room temp (I used cream cheese)
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (55g) grated provolone or Italian fontina cheese (I used provolone)
1/4 cup (25g) finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (I used Parm)
For the crust: You can throw all the ingredients into a food processor if you want! I don’t have one, so instead I did the following:
Combine the flour, corn meal, and salt in a large bowl. Add in the cold butter, and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers (or a fork) until only tiny bits of butter are visible. Add in the egg and mix until a dough forms.
Once it comes together, roll it out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until it’s about 12″ across. Peel off the top layer of plastic, and invert the dough onto the 9″ tart pan. Press into all the crevices before peeling off the other layer of plastic. Trim off any excess dough around the edges. Place on a baking sheet and set in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
I’m a believer in always parbaking the crust to avoid soggy bottoms. Deb claims you can bake this without parbaking, but I was not willing to risk it. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the dough is cold, cover with a buttered piece of tinfoil pressed into the edges of the dough. No need for pie weights. Mine bubbled slightly though. Bake for 10 minutes before removing the foil (carefully!), then bake for another 5-8 minutes until the crust is firm and lightly golden on the edges.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
While it’s baking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add the butter and oil. Add the shallots, sautéing them for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and thyme and stir for another minute. Increase heat to medium-high, and start adding in the mushrooms. It will be crowded. According to Deb, it’s fine. Just keep moving the cooked mushrooms from the bottom of the pan over the uncooked mushrooms on the top. Eventually it’ll all cook down. Sauté until they are tender and the liquid they release has completely evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper. Transfer to a plate to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone and milk. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, stir in the remaining cheeses, and finally combine with the cooled mushroom mixture. Deb didn’t specify, but I let both the filling and the crust cool off for quite a bit (until maybe slightly warmer than room temp). Pour filling into crust and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until it’s puffed and golden on top. I could have let mine get more golden, but I was impatient, and it was cooked all the way through. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving, but it is best served warm.
I realize this is a lot of steps. If you made it this far, you will be rewarded with the most delicious dinner of all time. I served this along side a salad topped with a mustard vinaigrette, whose brightness really balanced the richness of the tart. If you don’t have a tart pan, I guess you’re SOL (or just buy one?).