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Food and Recipes

Wild Mushrooms and Chestnut Tart

Take advantage at this time of the year and use freshly picked mushrooms and chestnuts to make this delightfully tasty tart. This is a dish that is great to make if you have vegetarian guests. The texture of chestnuts and mushrooms make a great meaty alternative and if you use a combination of wild ones it is so flavoursome too. Thank you to all my neighbours for these fresh and tasty ingredients! Grazie mille!

What you will need:

250 g puff pastry rolled to 2-3 mm thick
12 fresh chestnuts
4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
About 25 g of butter
400 g wild seasonal mushrooms, cleaned and cut into chunks
250 ml double cream
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 beaten egg

What to do:

Line 4 tart tins measuring approximately 10 cm wide. Cut the pastry about 2 cm larger than the tins and line them, firming the pastry up to and a little over the top of the tins with your thumb and forefinger. With a fork, prick the pastry all over on the inside of the tins, including the sides. Line them with greaseproof paper or foil and fill them with baking beans (dried old beans or the ceramic baking beans).

Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C/Gas mark 4.

Meanwhile criss-cross the pointed end of the chestnut with a knife.

Bake the pastry cases for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beans and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until lightly coloured. Bake the chestnuts in the same oven for 10 minutes. Remove pastry from the tins and leave on a wire rack to cool. When cool, peel and cut the chestnuts in half.

Gently cook the shallots and garlic in the butter for 2-3 minutes until soft, add the mushrooms, season and cook with a lid on for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until they soften. Add the cream and Parmesan and continue to simmer until the cream thickens and just coats the mushrooms. Add the chestnuts and parsley and season to taste.

To serve: fill the tarts with the mushroom and chestnut mixture. Use the beaten egg to coat the tarts and pop them under a grill to give a baked, glazed effect. With a little mixed salad and a drizzle of extra virgin oil, this will be a dish you make time and time again.

Thursday, 31 October 2013    Section: Food and Recipes
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