|David Falkowski’s Oyster Mushrooms are beyond compare|
|Leeks from the Foster Family Farm|
One of the joys of being part of the Farmer’s Markets this fall has been getting first dibs on some incredible produce. The market opens at 9 but everyone is generally in place before that. I feel like an early bird at a Yard Sale because before we welcome our paying customers, I do a little shopping. The bread from Blue Duck Bakery is superb. You’ve read how good David Falkowski’s mushrooms are. And right next to where I am, from the Foster Family farm in Sagaponack, there’s a beautiful array of vegetables every week. That the farm still operates is a bit of a miracle: The land is so valuable that mostly what has sprouted up in the neighboring fields are multi-million dollar houses. At one point, Sagaponack was listed as the most expensive Zip code in the country. But the Fosters carry on. The soil in Sagaponack is said to be about the best on the East Coast. Left behind millennia ago when the glaciers retreated, it’s six feet of loam in places! So you can imagine how beautiful everything that’s grown there is. Last week, I could not resist the leeks. Putting them together with two of David’s mushroom varieties—dried porcinis and fresh Oyster Mushrooms— seemed the perfect thing to do.
weekend lunch item. Or you could use it as a first course at dinner. I confess
to a Sandra Lee shortcut. I am not the baker in our house so I used, horror of
horrors, Pillsbury Pie Crust from the supermarket. Honestly, I don’t think
anyone was the wiser—except of course, Andrew, who could tell a homemade
crust from a store-bought one from 100 yards away. So if you want to make
your own, please use a recipe for Pate Brise and follow the instructions below.
It’s really quite easy and you’ll have enough for 10 ladylike wedges. Do not
refrigerate any leftovers as the crust will go soggy in the refrigerator. Leave it
out and I can almost guarantee it won’t be there very long. Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Wild Mushroom and Leek Tart
For the filling:
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 3/4 cups whole or 2% milk
12 ounces (3/4 pound) mixed wild mushrooms (chanterelles, shiitake, cremini, etc.), woody stems ends trimmed and brushed clean with a soft brush
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large leeks, halved lengthwise and well rinsed, and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1. To Prepare the Crust: Remove the pastry from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you begin to roll. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14- by 10-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Drape over the rolling pin and transfer to a 13- by 9-inch ceramic tart dish or a 12-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Without stretching, ease the pastry into the corners of the dish. Fold any overhanging dough back over itself and press together to build up the rim about 1/4 inch above the top of the dish (this will compensate for shrinkage). Prick the base with a fork.
2. Chill for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line the dish with parchment paper or foil and fill with ceramic pie weights, rice, or beans, pressing them gently into the corners. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges begin to shrink away from the dish. Remove the paper and weights and bake for about 4 minutes more, until the base appears dry.
3. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 375ºF. (Or, you could cool the crust on a rack for up to 2 hours before proceeding.) Do not fill the pastry until just before cooking.
4. To make the filling:In a small saucepan, bring the milk up to just below the boiling point. Remove from the heat, add the porcini, and swirl to cover all the mushrooms. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. Squeeze the porcini mushrooms firmly, draining the milk back into the pan. Chop the porcini and strain the milk to remove any grit; set both aside. Slice the fresh mushrooms.
6. Heat the oven to 375ºF, if it is not already hot from cooking the pastry. In a saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Saute the shallots over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring, until softened, Add all the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and all their liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
7. In the same pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté over low heat, covered, until completely tender but not browned, about 12 minutes. Stir in the tarragon, season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and cook for one minute more.
8. In a bowl, quickly but thoroughly whisk together the porcini-soaking milk, cream, eggs, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
9. To Assemble the Tart: Spread the base of the pre-baked crust evenly with the mustard and then spread the mushroom and the leek mixtures evenly in the crust. Pour the custard over the vegetables and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until all but the very center is set and lightly browned.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.