While thinking up things to serve at my thanksgiving open house, I decided that mini mushroom tarts would be a fabulous savory option for my guests. Using a standard pie crust, two kinds of mushrooms and some beef stock, you can whip this up fairly quickly. Like my post about home made gnocchi, these tartlets do require a specific kitchen implement – i.e. mini muffin pans. They provide the perfect mold for the bite sized treats.
Mushroom and Thyme Tartlets
8 oz crimini mushrooms
1 large portabello mushroom
1 c beef broth
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for garnish
your favorite pie crust
Begin by dicing the mushrooms very fine. I use a food processor for this as it provides the paste-like consistency I prefer, however if you have decent knife skills you can simply dice the fungi down until you achieve nearly the same fineness. Set the mushrooms aside and melt the butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Once it has melted add your flour to make your roux, whisking it steadily to ensure that a) there are no lumps and b) you don’t scorch it. Add the beef broth, whisking steadily until it starts to thicken. Add the mushrooms and the thyme. Due to the high water content of the mushrooms, your broth will re-liquify pretty quickly. Turn the heat up to medium-low and cook off the water until you get a pudding like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This is now ready to go into your pastry cups. Using your favorite pie dough recipe – such as the one found here. Roll out the dough until it is fairly thin – thinner than you would use in a regular pie. I would guess we’re talking about 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch, but this is completely made up. In order to fill the mini-muffin cups, you need a 1 1/2 or 2 inch biscuit cutter or a similarly sized glass. Cut out rounds of pie crust with your selected tool and gently mold them into the mini-muffin tin. You can grease the mini muffin pans if you’d like, but due to the nature of pie crust (i.e. it’s high fat content) you probably won’t need to. It never hurts though, right?
Fill the cups with the mushrooms and then sprinkle a small amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese on each one.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry starts to brown.