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  • Wild Mushroom Tart

    With Autumn well and truly here, this wild mushroom tart is the perfect dish for days when the sky is grey and the weather a little colder - it's sure to become a firm feel-good favourite. 

    Wild Mushroom Tart

    Serves 8 to 10

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    For the pastry:
    300g (101/2oz) plain flour
    150g (51/2oz) butter, cubed and chilled
    150ml (5floz) chilled water
    pinch of fine salt
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper for the short crust

    For the filling:
    1 knob of butter
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    20g (3/4oz) dried ceps, soaked for 20–25 minutes in warm water to rehydrate, then drained, soaking water reserved
    250g (9oz) mushrooms, a mixture of wild and cultivated is fine
    1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
    2 teaspoons thyme leaves
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
    185ml (6fl oz) double cream
    2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
    Scattering of Parmesan or hard, aged sheep’s cheese

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    M E T H O D

    First, make the short crust. Pulse the flour, butter and salt in a food processor to the consistency of breadcrumbs. With the motor running, steadily add the water, stopping as soon as the dough comes together.

    Remove the dough, knead it a couple of times, then wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

    Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 6.

    Roll the chilled dough into a thin round large enough to line a 24cm (91/2in) loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin, with an overhang. Prick the base, then line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

    Remove the parchment and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the base is dry and lightly coloured.

    Trim any overhanging pastry from the tart and set aside.

    Next, make the filling. Heat a large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the butter and half the oil. When the fat is bubbling away, add both the soaked and fresh mushrooms, along with the parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

    Toss the mushrooms around the pan and cook for 3–4 minutes, until softened. Tip the mushrooms into a large bowl, then return the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil, and the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 8–10 minutes, until the onion is soft.

    Add all but the last spoonful (which may be gritty) of the mushroom liquid to the onion mixture and reduce until it’s almost gone.

    Combine the onion with the mushrooms, and season.

    Put the cream, eggs and egg yolk in a bowl, season, then combine to form a custard.

    Fill the tart case with the onion and mushroom mixture and pour over the custard. Don’t worry if a few mushrooms poke out. Scatter over a gesture of cheese and bake the tart for 30–35 minutes, until it has a mottled golden top and is slightly raised.

    Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

    Recipe from Time: a year and a day in the kitchen by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £25.00) Photography: Andrew Montgomery