The Magic of Mushrooms and the Buttery Perfection of a Puff Pastry, in One Beautiful Tart.Appetizers / October 2, 2021
I love magic. The kind of magic that happens in nature, and the kind that happens in your oven. Especially when it involves puff pastry and the fantastic flavors of fall. And that means combining apples, sage — which is easy to grow, hearty, sweet, and peppery with a decidedly organic tang — and the ever-controversial mushroom. Olive This! is genius in my opinion for carrying an oil with such perfectly balanced flavors. Their Wild Mushroom Sage Olive Oil lends itself to so many meals. But when used to sauté mushrooms and apples that will be baked atop a savory tart, it finds its way into our hearts!
Before I get down to the recipe directions, allow me to segue for a moment. Because you know how much I love to teach, as well as cook.
Mushrooms are, in my opinions, routinely abused by home cooks. Not on purpose, mind you. No one is intentionally cruel to their food. But you need to understand the basic tenets of mushrooms if you’re going to elevate them to BLING status. The remedy? Don’t crowd them in the pan (or they will steam instead of sear, making them rubbery. Blech.). Make sure the pan is super-hot. Don’t be afraid to cook in butter. Salt them at the end, not the beginning. And cook them until they’re brown. They are FULL of water, so it takes patience to cook them down. Oh, also you don’t need to wash them before using unless you pulled them out of the ground yourself.
Mushrooms are fungi. They are commonly thought to be the absolute first and oldest life form on earth. A recent documentary on mushrooms states they are neither plant nor animal. And they come in many varieties that offer a huge choice of flavor profiles. The Baby Bella mushroom I use in this recipe has a nutty, creamy, and mild flavor. It browns nicely, and it one of my go-to ingredients!
Armed with all this geeky knowledge, it is time to put on our aprons. And although easy to assemble, I will walk you through some fool-proof tips for success.
- Make sure you puff pastry is cold when working with it. As it thaws it gets too pliable and sticky. At least try to roll it out and score it, as well as place it on the baking sheet before it reaches room temperature.
- Flour is your friend. Be generous with the surface where you roll out the dough.
- Scoring the edges will keep your pastry from being one big poofy dome. Don’t skip this step.
- We precook the mushrooms and apples because more oven time doesn’t hurt them. But they will never cook correctly or taste good if you put them on the dough raw.
- Don’t miss dipping these or drizzling these with the honey mustard sage cream sauce. The cool, tart cream and the savory mushrooms JUST GO TOGETHER!
See the recipe below!