4.3.15 Mushroom Mascarpone Tart with Parmesan Crust
I’ve always been a big fan of mushrooms. I love their substantial earthiness; often times, you’ll find me scrambling them up with eggs, roasting them for salads, throwing them on pizzas, and eating them on toast. Pure deliciousness. Unfortunately, as much as I love mushrooms, Forrest can’t stand them. And no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get him to come around (trust me I’ve tried). As a result, I never seem to cook quite as many mushrooms as I’d truly like. That is, unless Forrest is out of town. Then all bets are off.
Last weekend, with Forrest away on a ski trip, and me left to my own devices, I knew that some serious mushroom cookery was about to go down. And it so did. In the form of this lovely mushroom mascarpone tart.
This is the sort of savory pie that would be right at home at brunch, or perfectly paired with a crisp salad for a light dinner. It’s creamy, mushroomy (of course), and perhaps most importantly, doesn’t skimp on the cheese. There’s even cheese in the crust. Oh yes. I have a sneaking suspicion this much cheese may even convert my mushroom-hating husband. Anyway, it’s worth a shot.
Mushroom Mascarpone Tart with Parmesan Crust
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 oz cold water
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- 12 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- ½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh thyme)
- ¾ tsp salt, divided
- ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese, divided
1. Make the crust - Measure the flour into a large bowl, cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the flour.
2. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour until the pieces are small (about the size of a pea) and the mixture has a grainy texture. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
3. Add the water (very cold) a little bit at a time, mixing until the dough is all incorporated into a ball. If 1 oz of water doesn’t seem to be enough, you can add a bit more, but add it a little bit at a time, and use the least amount of water possible to hold the dough together.
4. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15-20 minutes before working with it further.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Once the dough has been chilled, roll it out on a well floured surface and shape it into a greased 9-inch pie or tart pan.
7. Cover crust with aluminum foil, and add some dry beans or rice to weight it down. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
8. Heat oil over medium heat in a pan. Add the onion, and cook until it begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
9. Add mushrooms, thyme, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper, and continue cooking, stirring often, until mushrooms are cooked and beginning to brown.
10. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese. Stir in the mushroom mixture and ½ cup grated fontina cheese.
11. Pour into prepared crust, top with remaining ½ cup fontina cheese, and bake at 350 degrees until filling is golden, well set, and slightly puffed in the center, about 30 minutes. Serve tart warm or at room temperature.