What strange little creatures mushrooms are. Nearly everything else that grows needs some light source to do so (except these guys), but mushrooms like the dark, wet, and mysterious. No wonder they’ve inspired the imaginations of fairy tale-tellers for quite a long time. Smurfs live in them. They make Alice shrink and grow. Some sorts make your brain all funny. They look sort of like solidified jelly fish. Some are deadly. Some are just ridiculously delicious.
Crimini, for example, is among the delicious. Cooking with them can be so lovely. You have to coax the juices out of them (I’m really not a fan of raw mushrooms), but once you do, you get a savory gravy loaded with the illustrious goodness of umami. According to wikipedia, “Umami tastes are initiated by specialized receptors, with subsequent steps involving secretion of neurotransmitters including serotonin.” So basically, there’s a biological reason that we (I) adore these little pleasure domes.
I had leftover pate brisee from the plum galette, and, as I’ve mentioned before I prefer galettes to any other pie form, so I made this savory one. Naomi and I enjoyed it for work lunch the next day. It’s a wonderful day when you can eat your lunch in a pie crust.
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. butter
6 oz. chicken or veggie stock
1/2 c. flour
pate brisee (recipe to follow)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Warm olive oil over medium and saute garlic, leeks, and thyme for about three minutes, until translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they soften. Add the butter and melt to coat. Add the stock and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.
Make a slurry with some lukewarm water and the flour. Slowly mix the slurry into the sauce until it becomes a velvety gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Roll out your pate brisee until it is about 1/4″ thick.
Line a springform pan with parchment paper and then place the dough in the pan. Fill with the mushroom stuffing and gently fold the sides of the dough over the filling. Brush the dough with an egg wash.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake another 35 minutes until the crust is a lovely brassy color.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse flour and salt. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 seconds. With machine running, add water in a slow, steady stream; process until dough just holds together. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap well and chill at least 1 hour in refrigerator.