At this time of year, the forest is drawing me and my mutts like a magnet. The weather is mild, the colours amazing and it is good for us in every possible way to take the 90 minute walk around the forest and home again.
Most of the year we have the place to ourselves. Me lost in my thoughts, or chatting with a friend, the dogs on their own agenda, nose down, tail up and regularly disappearing into the undergrowth.
But for a few weeks during the autumn things are different … there are people lurking behind trees, dressed to blend in, talking in whispers, and carrying baskets that can be covered if required … what is it all about? It’s mushroom season of course!
The best places to find the wild mushrooms are fiercely protected. Which is why the hunters are so discreet. The mushrooms re-locate each year, and once you’ve found a good spot to pick, then you don’t want to share it!
There are several varieties of excellent wild mushroom that grow in our forest ( I say ‘our’ because we walk there all the time, but it doesn’t actually belong to us!). If you get really lucky you can find some big Cèpes, but the most common and plentiful around here are the Chanterelle. YUM!
My favourite way to eat Chanterelle is to remove the end of the stalk, wipe them clean (don’t wash them because they soak up too much water and their flavour is impaired) , then fry them in a little butter with crushed garlic and herbs … perfect with rabbit!
Bu today I thought you’d like a different recipe that makes a great snack or light meal, namely a creamy chanterelle tart. A very easy recipe, and very quick to prepare.
Roll out your short or flaky pastry and fit to whichever shape mould you favor. Prebake blind and remove from the oven.
Clean a small bowlful of mushrooms, chop a shallot onion and fry the onion in a pan with olive oil. If you wish you can add some bacon diced finely. When the onion is well softened, add the mushrooms and cook quickly until their juices have completely evaporated.
In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs with 4 large spoonfuls of thick cream, add salt and pepper. Spoon the mushroom mix evenly over the pastry base, and then pour in the cream. Bake in a medium hot oven for about 25 minutes until just golden. This tart is excellent served with a fresh mesclun or roquette salad.
Image of mushroom tart from Pinterest