Dinner in front of a blazing fire is one of my favorite cool weather activities. Especially during this busy time of year, I try to take time out and have a quiet meal by the fire with someone special. This rich and earthy tart makes a light meal when served with assorted greens tossed that are tossed with a simple vinaigrette or a complete dinner when accompanied with a perfectly grilled filet. Crème fraiche is similar to sour cream and has a unique tangy flavor and adds a silky richness to the filling. Spoon any remaining over a warm fruit dessert or cobbler.
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold butter
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 shiitake mushrooms, stem removed, sliced
2 ounces cremini or portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 dried porcini, soaked in hot water, chopped
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
¼ cup crème fraiche
1 egg yolk
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. with an oven rack in the center.
Place the flour, cold butter and salt in the bowl of a mini-processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the sour cream and process until the mixture comes together, about 10 seconds. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least ½ hour. Divide dough in half and roll out each half on a well-floured work surface to a 6-inch circle. Fit each into a 4-inch tart pan, pressing dough firmly up the sides of the pan. Chill while preparing the filling.
Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a small skillet and add the shallot. Cook over medium heat until tender. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon butter and mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated.
Add the vinegar and scrape to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the crème fraiche and egg yolk in a small bowl and mix well. Spoon into the tart shells. Add half of the mushrooms to each tart. Place the shells on a small baking sheet.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the filling is set.
MORE ABOUT MUSHROOMS: Dried porcini mushrooms can be expensive but they keep indefinitely and add amazing flavor to any dish - just reheat in hot water before using. Shiitake mushrooms must have their woody stems removed before chopping because the stems do not soften with cooking. Break the stems off close to the cap. I never use water to clean mushrooms because they can absorb the water- just brush off any dirt with moist paper towel.
Copyright by Pat Sinclair 2007, www.patcooksandbakes.com