The long holiday weekend has come to an end. I guess you can call it the end of summer and beginning of fall in a figurative way, although here in the Bay Area, our summer seems to stretch way into October. It is synonymous with what we call Indian summer; where the summer heat continues. I particularly enjoy summer extending further into the year and holding off the entrance of fall. Although I enjoy fall, and for that, I can appreciate all seasons, however, there is just something special about summer.
Perhaps it is the bounty of wonderful fruits, vegetables, long days, warm evenings, sandals and vivid painted toenails. It is not worrying about having a jacket, taking leisurely walks, a certain light that peers through the windows and less traffic on the roads during the morning commute. Summer for me is special. With Labor Day 2013 come and gone, it is time for me to embrace that the seasons will be changing, especially since I have not control over it.
Fall is a perfectly fine season. The leaves begin to change color, fall to ground and leave the trees a bit bare. Some trees stay clothed. Yeah. The produce at the farmer’s market rotates to squashes, persimmons, beets, chard, apples and pears. The day light leaves us sooner yet we have magnificent diffused light peering through our windows. Hubby is quite enamored with the fall light.
With fall making its yearly debut around the corner, I got into the spirit of the season by creating this delightful Wild Mushroom Tart. The result was a rich, flavorful tart that was perfect with a glass of cabernet sauvignon that has hints of cedar, smoke and dark berry flavors. It would also be perfect with a glass of Pinot Noir, which would compliment the woodsy flavors from the mushrooms.
What is your favorite season - Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?
Wild Mushroom Tart
Tart Dough (see below for recipe)
4 oz. Crimini Mushrooms
4 oz. Chanterelle Mushrooms
4 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms
¼ Cup Dried Porcini Mushrooms
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
¼ Cup Crème Fraiche
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
¼ teaspoon Salt
1/3 teaspoon Pepper
2 large Eggs
1 Cup Smoked Fontina Cheese, Grated
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Add boiling hot water to a medium bowl then add the dried porcini mushrooms. Let sit for 15 minutes or until soft. Cut into small pieces.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Clean, remove stems and cut the mushrooms into half inch pieces. Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet and melt butter on medium heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss together with the butter and olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper. Let cook until soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
To a large bowl add the eggs and beat until blended. Next add the thyme, cream, crème Fraiche and parmesan cheese and mix well. To this, add the cooled mushrooms and stir and add half of the smoked fontina cheese. (If you can’t find smoked fontina, regular fontina is simply perfect.) Add this mixture to the pre-baked tart shell. Sprinkle with the remaining fontina cheese.
Add to the 375 degree oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. The top should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool about 10 minutes and then cut into desired sized slices and enjoy.
1 ½ Cup Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons Butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoon Shortening
3 Tablespoon Water, ice cold
Add the flour, salt, butter and shortening to a food processor and pulse lightly until the butter and shortening resembles very small peas. Add the chilled water and pulse until it forms together. Remove and add to a 10 inch tart pan. Using your fingers press the dough to form a completely covered tart pan. Chill for 30 minutes.
Poke the tine of a fork around the bottom of the tart and bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Remove and let cool. Press down any sections that puffed during baking process.