Fish & Shellfish
Vegetarian & Vegan
Linda, who I used to live next door to, was coming over for coffee last Friday morning and my online shopping was delivered shortly before she arrived. I’d ordered filo pastry so I could make these pies the next day but, infuriatingly, the shopping arrived without them. Cheekily, I rang Linda on her mobile and asked if she’d mind diverting to a supermarket en route to buy me some (that’s one of the very few downsides to living in the middle of nowhere - you can’t just pop out and buy filo pastry at a moment’s notice!).
Luckily she didn’t mind (thank you, Linda!) and I spent a very happy Saturday morning experimenting with different flavours to go with the mushroom filling but in the end I kept it very simple and the pies were super-delicious. Here’s the final result, definitely worth making!
Divide the mushrooms into two batches and fry them one batch at a time in a little olive oil over a very high heat, stirring every now and again until they are nicely browned. Set aside and use the same pan to fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Take off the heat, then stir in the mushrooms and the crème fraiche. Strip the thyme leaves from the stalks and stir in with plenty of seasoning, the dijon mustard and most of the parsley.
Cut each of the filo sheets into four then cut out circles to a diameter of about 4cm (one and a half inches) bigger all round than two individual tart tins. Brush each pastry circle with a little olive oil and layer up in the tins so that you have four layers of pastry in each. Spoon the filling into the tart cases and trim of any excess pastry so that it stands about 2cm (just less than an inch) above the top of the tins. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C (fan oven) for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden.
Leave to cool a little, then slide the pies carefully out of the tins. Eat at room temeperature for maximum flavour.
I cook the mushrooms in two batches because although it's a bit more time-consuming, it means they brown quickly and that gives them tons of flavour - if you cook them all at once, they release too much juice and start to steam rather than fry which makes them tasteless.
Also, rather than individual pies, you could make one large round or rectangular one but use 500g mushrooms, 2 onions and 7 tbsp crème fraiche, with four sheets of filo trimmed to size