Fish & Shellfish
Vegetarian & Vegan
The weather has been so wet and dull for so many weeks on end here in East Sussex, there’s nothing for it but to indulge in lots of comfort food. When my fellow villager Karen came round for lunch last week to talk about an idea we’ve had (of which more another time, hopefully), I made this rich and garlicky mushroom tart with a thyme pastry crust and, minutes before she arrived, decided to take a photo of it for the blog. I should have learnt by now not to try and rush the photography side of things because in my haste to get the tart out of the loose-bottomed tart tin I’d cooked it in, I managed to crack most of the pastry sides - hence the very close-up shot here, avoiding showing the back of the case!
I put the photo on Instagram later that day, though, and got masses of ‘likes’ and enquiries about the recipe, so maybe a close-up was no bad thing and just made it look even more tempting. I may start to do close-up shots more often…
I usually prefer to use fresh herbs rather than dried, but in pastry I find that you get more of a thyme kick if you go for dried so that’s what I’ve used here.
Make the pastry by whizzing the flour, butter and a tsp of salt in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the thyme then add enough cold water, a tbsp at a time, until it starts to come together as a dough. Tip out onto a work surface and bring together lightly with your hands. Chill for 15 mins then roll out and line a loose-bottomed flan tin.
Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms and onion in a little olive oil in a hot pan until just browning - the browner the mushrooms are, the more flavour they will have (but don't let them burn). Then add the garlic and fry for another minute.
Whisk the eggs lightly with a fork and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Season really well then pour into the pastry case and bake at 180C (fan oven) for 30 mins until puffed up and golden.
Best served warm rather than hot, and it's good cold the next day too.
While you're preheating the oven, put a metal baking tray in it then slide the tart tin onto the tray when you're ready to cook - the extra instant heat from the hot tray helps ensure a nice crisp crust, which is helpful when you're not baking the pastry case blind first.