Easy as Pie…Err Tart?

Mushrooms, Gruyere, Baked

Mushroom & Gruyere Tart

Sometimes people get so hung up on names, titles, making sure things fit the mold and are “correct” that they forget to realize what’s actually important.

My Sunday started off well, I strolled the green market, chugging my large coffee, and stumbled across incredible Crimini mushrooms.  My mind immediately decided that a perfect mushroom and cheese tart would be in order.  Little did I know that in a few hours, back at home, this decision would send me in a frantic  Google search on the difference between a tart and a pie and, oh quiche! Ok, I am sure the copious amount of caffeine didn’t help my compulsion, either.

1 hour, 8 browser windows and two crossed eyes later I realized that there probably was no way I would received a definitive answer.

“It’s the dough you use!”

“No, it’s about the type of pan you bake it in”

“A pie a sweet and is only baked on Wednesdays.”

So this had me thinking, doesn’t really matter what we call things?  If I want to call it a tart, I’ll call it a tart – who is going to stop me!

Whether it’s food or in life, it’s all about what you make of it right?

But let me just say, you better make it something delicious.

Mushroom Gruyere Tart

Pastry Dough*:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 cup cold unsalted butter, diced small

1/4 cup ice water

Filling:

1 tbs butter

1 tbs olive oil

1/3 cup shallots, sliced

1 1/4 cup mushrooms, diced small (I used Crimini)

3 large sprigs of thyme

4 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded plus additional for topping tarts

Salt

Pepper

Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp

Chives, sliced

In a stand mixer, combine half of the flour and all of the salt on low speed.  In small batches, begin to incorporate diced butter until fully incorporated into the flour.  Once the butter is incorporated, mix in the rest of the flour.  Add water until a ball of dough forms.  Let dough rest, flattened into a disc and wrapped in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour.

Flour your rolling surface and place chilled dough on top.  Lightly flour the top of the dough and begin rolling the dough out until you can begin to fill your 4-inch tart pans.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Par-bake the tart shells by placing a sheet of parchment paper over each tart and filling them with uncooked beans, rice or baking weights (if you’re all fancy and stuff).  Bake tarts for 20 – 30 minutes or until just golden brown.  Remove the tart shells and let them cool

To make the filling, heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Now add the mushrooms and thyme leaves (to easily remove the thyme leaves from the stem, hold at the bottom and run your fingers toward the top).  Season the mixture with salt and pepper and continue to saute for about 8 – 10 minutes or until mushrooms are softened.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, nutmeg, a pinch of both salt and pepper and the Gruyere.  Fold in the mushroom mixture.

Fill each tart shell with 3 tbs of the mushroom mixture.  Top each tart with additional shredded cheese.  Place in the oven and bake 10 – 15 minutes or until center is just set.  Remove from oven and top with diced chives.

* This dough recipe yields about 16 4 inch tarts.  The filling in this recipe will make about 8.  If you’re like me and also have a sweet tooth, try using the dough to make a sweet tart such as cranberry and lemon.

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