This tart has the appearance of a quiche, but blind-baking the pastry and adding the cooked filling later makes for a texturally superior dish. The crust is crispy and the filling is creamy and delicious. Use wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles or morels, or domestic mushrooms if those aren't available to you.
Wild mushroom filling
In a sauté pan on high heat, melt butter into the olive oil, add the mushrooms and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Add shallots and thyme and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any of the browned bits, then add whipping cream and vegetable stock. Turn down the heat to medium and gently reduce the mixture to a thick, creamy paste, 5 to 10 minutes.
To assemble, preheat the oven to 425°F. Reheat the tart shells for 3 minutes, then remove them from the oven and divide the warm mushroom filling evenly among them. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
Place flour in a large bowl. Using a hand grater, grate butter into the flour and mix with your fingers until it becomes a coarse meal. Add sour cream and salt and mix gently just until a dough forms. Be sure not to overwork the dough or it will become tough.
Bring the dough together into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
When you’re ready to make the tarts, preheat the oven to 375°F. Dust six 4-inch tart pans with flour and cut six rounds of parchment paper or aluminum foil big enough to fit in the bottom of the tart pans. Have on hand enough dried beans or pie weights to cover the bottom of each of the pans.
Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the dough into six pieces and roll them out individually to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Press the dough into each pan, cover it with a circle of parchment paper (or foil) and arrange the beans on top to help keep the pastry from rising while it bakes. Arrange the tart pans on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the tart pans from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Using an oven mitt, gently tip the beans out of the tart pans and discard the parchment paper (or foil). Return the pastry to the oven and bake the tart shells for another 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Serves 6 as an appetizer