Inspired by the early planning stages of a trip to Paris this fall, the idea of a light tart filled with cream and chanterelles seemed like something that I would dream up, were I living in France and wandering through the markets.
This lovely little creation was supposed to be some sort of asparagus tart. But as I was slowly roaming through my local market, I came across a collection of baskets housing several varieties of dried mushrooms. Now, I love mushrooms and if I can find a place for them in a recipe, you bet I will. I just love the earthy-ness of them. The idea then became an asparagus and chanterelle tart. Once, I got the chanterelles in place though, I felt like they really needed to be celebrated all on their own.
Nowadays these mushrooms are commonly used in European kitchens, but they first gained widespread recognition in 18th century France, appearing on the tables of the nobility. Still one of the most sought after mushrooms in the world, chanterelles are found only in the wild and thrive in temperate forests. Here in the Pacific Northwest, they pop up in the summer under conifers. Not typically eaten raw, the rich flavour of chanterelles is best released through cooking. Due to their fat-soluble flavour compounds, they’re especially delicious when sauteed in butter, oil or cream.
I was so happy with how this tart turned out. It’s easily one of my favourite recipes I’ve created in a long time. It’s nutty, earthy, and savoury, with a hint of sweet from the shallots. I can imagine eating this as a light lunch on a sunny afternoon, in the french countryside.
3 Cups hazelnut meal
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 egg whites (yolks reserved)
2 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ tart pan (with removable base)
Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Press the mixture into the base of and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.
1 Cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh thyme
60 grams goat cheese
2 reserved egg yolks
In a small sauce pan, together the cream, thyme and goat cheese. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, whisking frequently until the goat cheese is fully blended into the cream. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
Once the cream mixture has cooled, whisk in the egg yolks. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 Cup Chanterelle mushrooms (fresh or dried)
1/4 Cup shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
If using dried chanterelles, re-hydrate by covering them in hot water for about 20 minutes.
In a skillet over low-medium heat, heat the olive oil. Stir in the shallots and chanterelles and cook together for about 10 minutes, until the shallots are beginning to caramelize.
Evenly place the chanterelle mixture over the filling of the waiting tart and sprinkle with the fresh thyme. Set the tart in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 9 squares.