Here’s a little news for those of you who think mushrooms can only grow in humid, dark places. The mushrooms I used in today’s tart were all grown here in the sunny United Arab Emirates. Yeah, I know, I know, they are farmed and not wild, but still. The farms here are a testament to the persistence and dedication of many dreamers who have worked hard to see their dreams fulfilled. Emirates Mushrooms is fully organic and, according to their website, they have a growing capacity of 8000kg of mushrooms per week! Which I find incredible. And, no, this is not a sponsored post – I just thought I’d share a little of my world with you.
It’s Friday Pie Day again so let’s get on with the pie.
For the crust:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup or 180ml warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 2 1/4 cups or 280g all-purpose flour
1 3/4 oz or 50g feta, crumbled
Thyme leaves off a few fresh sprigs, maybe two teaspoons
Olive oil for bowl
For the filling:
3-4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion (Mine was 90g.)2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus a sprig or two for garnish, if desired
2lbs + or 950g mixed mushrooms
1/2 cup or 120ml dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta, crumbled
First we’ll make the dough for the crust. Put the warm water in a bowl with the yeast and sugar and leave to prove. The yeast should turn foamy if it’s active. If not, go buy some more yeast and start again.
Assuming you’ve got foam in your bowl, add in 2 cups or 250g of the flour along with the thyme and salt. Mix well until you have a nice wet dough. You can knead by hand but this will be easier with a dough hook if you have a stand mixer.
Add in the crumbled feta and about one more tablespoon of flour and keep kneading with the dough hook until it’s incorporated.
Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for a few good turns by hand, adding just a little more of the flour if necessary. Form the dough into a ball.
Oil your mixing bowl and put the ball of dough in. Turn it over to coat with oil. Set aside in warm place until doubled in size.
To make the filling, clean your mushrooms, making sure to remove any dirt that clings to them.
Slice the garlic and onion finely and pull the thyme leaves off of the stems.
Melt the butter in a very large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and thyme over a low heat, until they are very soft. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut your mushrooms in two if they are small and in quarters if they are larger.
Add the mushrooms to the onion pan. Raise the flame under the pan and cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until the water comes out of them.
Continue cooking until the water all evaporates and they are dry. Cook over a high flame until the mushrooms start to brown. Keep stirring.
Add in the white wine and keep cooking until it has all evaporated and the mushrooms are almost completely dry again.
Remove the pan from the stove. Set aside a few crumbles of feta to add to the top before baking then add the rest to the pan. Give it a few good grinds of black pepper and then stir.
Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone liner.
Punch down the dough and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll it out into a circle about 13 1/2 in or 34cm wide.
Carefully transfer the circle to your prepared baking pan.
Heap the mushroom filling in the middle then spread it around until it’s about 2 in or 5cm from the edge.
Fold the sides in to contain the filling. Top the mushrooms with your few reserved feta crumbles and a couple of small thyme sprigs, if desired.
Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.
My friend and creator of Friday Pie Day, Heather, over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen was thinking outside the box this month. She's sharing a cherry pie milkshake today!
I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.