Aw how wonderful it is to get away. Last weekend the boyfriend and I headed up to the Cairngorms for some much needed R and R. The boyfriend has been super busy over the summer doing a very intensive art course and last weekend was the first chance we had to get away together. It was nice to get a bit of attention again hehe. We braved the impending autumn, wrapped up warm and set up camp under ancient native Scots pine trees by the side of a little bumbling burn.
|some of our mushroom bounty|
We took a little walk around Loch an Eilein just as it was beginning to get dusky. It wasn’t long before we came across masses of yummy mushrooms: chanterelles, golden chanterelles, amethyst deceivers, hedgehogs... The boyfriend was super excited to find a perfect specimen of a cep; he was smiling ear to ear. We have been foraging for just over a year now and it’s nice getting to learn more and more; the nuances of each mushroom’s preferred haunt.
Evening came and we headed out for dinner, no mucking around with a camping stove for me. The Old Bridge Inn really does know how to do an exceptional steak, we enjoyed it by the fireside with whisky in hand. It was so lovely to spend some time with the boyfriend, after almost 6 years together we still marvel at how in love we are, I hope we don’t turn into a totally smug settled couple though…
This mushroom tart is great if you have a mixture of wild mushrooms and is quite forgiving if they aren’t in the best nick. If you don’t have any wild mushrooms chestnut mushrooms would work pretty well instead. Having just got back from camping I was in no mood for making my own pastry and bought the readymade variety. I hold my hands up. Guilty as charged your honour.
|wild mushroom tart|
Wild mushroom tart with lemon and thyme – adapted from River Cottage Handbook No 1: Mushrooms
Oven preheated to 180°C
250g of all butter puff pastry
25g of butter
½ red onion – very finely chopped
roughly 300g of mixed mushrooms – cleaned and cut into equal sized chunks
2 small cloves of garlic – very finely chopped
breadcrumbs – made from 1 thick slice of white bread
grated zest from ½ a lemon
1 heaped tbsp of grated Parmesan
2 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley
couple of sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper to season
1 egg – beaten
Roll out the pastry till it is approx 3 mm thick.
Put the pastry onto a baking tray or into an oven proof frying pan and set aside till later.
Fry off the onion until translucent over a moderately high heat.
Reduce the heat down to medium and add the mushrooms and thyme.
Cook for approx 3-4 minutes till just beginning to soften.
If they are producing a lot of juice, drain this off and continue cooking.
If the pan is looking a little dry add a little more butter.
Add the garlic to the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, Parmesan and parsley to the mushrooms and mix.
Season well to taste.
Add the mushrooms to the pastry, leaving a few centimetres around the edges so that it can puff up nicely.
Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Bake for approx 20 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and turned a golden brown colour.