Finding Comfort in Mini Cremini and Porcini Mushroom Quiches

Sometimes it is small joys that carry us through days that are less than comfortable; days we are out of sorts for no apparent reason. These are days meant for quiet comfort food. Middle-of-the-week days, demanding savory dishes that are warm, nourishing, and flavorful. Once again, Martha Stewart has provided the perfect recipe for the occasion. Her miniature Cremini and Porcini Quiches, are at once, both adorable and delicious. Their tart shells, spiced with thyme, brilliantly compliment the earthiness of the mushroom filling. These happy little quiches make a lovely presentation, spreading joy to those fortunate guests seated at your table.

Cremini and Porcini Quiches
(recipe courtesy Martha Stewart Living, June 2004)

Tart Dough with thyme (recipe below)
All-purpose flour for dusting
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
9 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved lengthwise
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Set six 4-inch cake rings (with 1 3/8 inch sides) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; set aside. Cut dough into six equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pieces, one at a time, to 1/8 inch thick. Using a cake pan as a guide, cut an 8-inch circle from each piece. Fit circles into cake rings, trimming dough flush with tops of rings to make tart shells. Prick bottoms all over with a fork. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400�°.

Line tart shells with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until dough edges start to feel firm, about 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; continue baking until crusts are pale golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350�°.

Soak porcini in boiling water; let soften 30 minutes. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook cremini, cut sides down, without stirring, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Lift out porcini; pour soaking liquid through a fine sieve into a blender. Add porcini, eggs and yolk, salt, and pepper; blend until smooth. Add cream; blend.

Divide filling among tart shells. Arrange cremini in filling, cut sides up. Bake until set, about 40 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6 4-inch quiches.

Tart Dough
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 herb/spice of choice (optional) chives, rosemary, or thyme
9 tablespoons (1 1/8 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons ice water

Process flour, salt, and herbs (if using) in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and process just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together egg mixture and the water in a small bowl. With processor running, pour in egg mixture; process until dough starts to come together. Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

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