August 24, 2011

Mushroom Tarte Tatins with Tomato Compote

When our lovely (veggie) friend came to stay with us for the first time I wanted to come up with something different, easy and impressive (he was after all one of our bestest friends, a bit of a foodie, our first dinner guest in our brand new first house and I had to show my domestic ways! :))


I only recently discovered the love of Tarte Tatin (apple) and thought - why not make a savoury one. But not an onion tart, not a tomato,,,, why not mushroom? I scoured the net and came across one on Simply-Vegetarian.com.  I tweaked a bit to suit my tastebuds and found a wonderful compote to go along with it on bbc.co.uk/food. 


The first time I made this it turned out absolutely gorgeous - if I can say that! :) My other half (who doesn't believe in vegetarianism) couldn't believe that a veggie meal could actually taste so good! Horray!  


I made a full tarte the first time making the mushroom mix and compote the day before so that I could socialise more - therefore only had to prepare the pastry and stick in the oven while we enjoyed a glass of wine and catch up! 


I have made a few times since but as MINI tartes for taking to BBQs/picnic style parties and they are now my favourite savoury treat for such occasions. 


If you wanted to make one big one instead follow the same method but bake in a small oven proof frying pan (omelette pan size) or a pie dish - just make sure you butter it WELL! Serve with  

Gratin Dauphinois and a salad to make a meal.






Ingredients - Mini Tarte Tatin
5-6 banana shallots
3 tbsp. olive oil
200 gr. (1/4 lb) mushrooms, (mixed is good chestnut,button,dried porcini) or whatever you like

1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup Gruyère cheese  

Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
250 gr. (1/4 lb) puff pastry 




Ingredients - Tomato Compote
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
400g/14oz canned plum tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch caster sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper



Peel & chop shallots quite thin (not super thin)



Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in enough boiling water to just cover them. Leave.


In a dry pan gently toast the pine nuts.


Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the shallots.


Clean and cut the mushrooms (not small but not large - they need to fit into the cases and they do shrink quite a bit when you cook them)  Remove the dried porcini from the water (be careful - it might still be hot) and reserve the liquid. Chop up into pieces.


After about 5 minutes of sautéing the shallots, add the mushrooms for another 5 minutes.


Now add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and thyme and cook another 5-8 minutes, or until the shallots are soft  (optional - but I like to add a bit more oomp to the mix, add the reserved porcini liquid - and cook on low heat until all of the liquid has evaporated.)


Remove from heat and stir in the pine nuts.


Grease a muffin tin well with butter


Spoon the mushroom mixture into the pan and sprinkle the cheese over top (be generous - this also helps stick the pastry to the mixture! 


Roll out the puff pastry and cut a round which is just slightly larger than the circumference of your the muffin tin circle. (TIP - when rolling the pastry do not press down hard or all of the lovely layers that have been pre made for you will be lost). 


Place the pastry over the filling. Tuck the edges inside the cake tin all around the filling – like you're tucking a blanket in. 


Bake at 180C (350F) for about 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffy 




For the tomato compote, heat the olive oil, add the finely chopped onion and fry gently for three minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes, thyme, vinegar and sugar and cook over a low heat for ten minutes or until reduced by half and thickened in consistency. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.


Remove tartes and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Turn the Tartin out onto a flat plate so that crust is on the bottom and the delicious filling is facing up. I sometimes have to use a knife to help them out due to the cheese sticking


Present Compote in a jar/small dish with a spoon for people to help themselves



Although mixture and compote can be made the day before I wouldn't suggest baking these until just before you want to serve (or before you are going out) as all of their goodness is best on the day. (they wouldn't last the night in my house anyway!)






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