Mushroom Tourte

June 21, 2007


A tourte is a French pie made of vegetables and/or meat or seafood. There are households in Paris where a good mushroom tourte is the test of a good cook—and it is. The savory crust is from a month ago. As with all mushrooms, you must evaporate the natural liquid, which is quite tasteless. Then you add tasty things like sherry or lemon juice or cream for the mushrooms to soak up. Not only is this a hit the first time you serve it. It makes fabulous leftovers. SAM.

2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces button mushrooms, brushed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoons)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 ounces soft chèvre
4 tablespoons crème fraîche, plus additional for topping
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 (9-inch) blind-baked savory pastry shell

Sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon oil, covered, over low heat until translucent, about 30 minutes. Add the garlic. In another pan over medium-high heat, sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon oil uncovered until they give up their liquid. Add the sherry and lemon juice and continue cooking until reduced. In a mixing bowl, combine the onion-garlic mixture, mushrooms, thyme, parsley, eggs, chèvre, crème fraîche, salt, and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell. Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle on top the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before serving. Top with additional crème fraîche.
Makes 6 servings.