I was flicking through an old edition of a Delicious magazine a couple of weeks ago (2011!), and I got all inspired by a recipe by Belinda Jeffery. I'm not a chef, and don't even rate myself as a cook, so I borrowed the idea but made it much more simple. It was so delicious. And the pastry was the best I have made yet (thanks to Stephanie Alexander's shortcrust recipe). With Autumn having declared her presence in Tassie the last couple of weeks, here is my recipe for this seasonal tart.
Autumn Tart - with Mushrooms and Tongola Curdy.
The Short Crust Pastry:
- 240g plain flour
- 180g butter (unsalted preferably), cubed
- 80ml of water (iced - I just throw in an ice-block from the freezer)
- A pinch of salt (I forgot this)
Ideally (but I don't and it works just fine) sift the flour into a food processor and add the butter (straight out the fridge is best). Pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. When you're happy with the texture, add the iced water, a little at a time, until it starts to come together (you may not need all of it). Put onto the bench and form it into a ball (but with minimal handling), wrap in some cling film and place into the freezer for 15 minutes (or the fridge for 30 minutes).
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of local garlic, finely chopped
- A large knob of butter and a healthy dash of olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 200g roughly sliced mushrooms (I used swiss browns for this recipe)
- 125g Tongola Curdy
- 6 eggs
- 100g full fat natural yoghurt (we use Tamar Valley)
- 50ml full fat milk (we use unhomogenised milk)
- Thyme, or whatever herb you have in the garden (tarragon, basil, dill all work well)
- Salt and pepper
Fry off the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the butter and olive oil (the mushies soak it up, so you may need to add more butter as you go along). Season with cracked pepper and then add the 2 tsp of cumin seeds. Take it off the heat when you're happy its cooked through.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yoghurt and milk together in a bowl. It'll be a bit lumpy at first, but keep whisking and it will smooth out but remain nice and thick.
When your pastry has finished chilling, roll out onto a floured worktop. Place over a pie dish (pictured is a 27cm dish) and blind bake at 180 degrees C until you're happy it's cooked through. Mine took 15-20mins.
When the tart shell is cooked, line it with the mushroom mix. Pour the egg mix over the top. Use 2 teaspoons to take the curdy out of the tub and place into the tart. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and flowers. Bake until cooked through - about 30mins.
I had quite a bit of pastry left over, so I also made 4 small tart shells which I'll freeze and keep for another day. Bonus!