Mushroom Tarts

9 October 2013

Post image for Mushroom Tarts

We are hosting a small cocktail party this weekend or, as they call it in Switzerland, an apéro, where the evening will be fueled by lots of small canapés and finger food. Hubby is rather excited by all of the possible wine pairings and I have been quite content to bury myself amongst hefty volumes of cookbooks in the late evenings, comparing and choosing recipes for our little soirée.

With a small child at my heels most of the day, a cocktail party might seem like an outrageous idea. But with some careful planning and a good selection of recipes which can be made ahead of time, there’s hope that I might also be able to join in on the conversation rather than be stuck in the kitchen assembling trays of tiny canapés at the last minute whilst simultaneously negotiating with a 10-month old to eat his specially and lovingly prepared beef curry purée.

On the menu will be Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup served in little coffee cups, a generous tray of Little Aussie Meat Pies with some homemade Cherry Tomato Relish, as well as some Chicken Liver Pâté with a Sauternes jelly to kick off the evening. Seafood will also feature on the menu and which hubby has offered to grill on the barbeque, weather permitting (shrimp on the barbie, anyone??).

In the lead up to this event, I have been experimenting with a few recipes for our vegetarian friends which would also be substantial enough for our meat-loving guests. These dainty little mushroom tarts will hopefully please both camps.

mushroom tarts 12

This recipe comes from Pete Evans’ My Party, a beautiful collection of appetisers and other small bites for whatever themed party you might have in mind. Pete is the first person to admit that these mushroom tarts are not the most appealing to look at, but I think that if you make them small enough and dot them with some fresh herbs to provide a contrast in colour, they will look as elegant as they are delicious.

These little morsels are fairly simple to put together, but the only ingredient I couldn’t find was porcini powder which I imagine would have added a bolt of savouriness to the mushroom filling. So I substituted with some crushed porcini stock cube but I think a vegetable stock cube could also work just as well.

Mushroom Tarts
Recipe adapted from My Party: Canapés and Cocktails by Pete Evans
Makes about 24

600 g (1 lb 5 oz) brown mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons porcini powder (or half a porcini stock cube)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
3 egg yolks
2 sheets of puff pastry
fresh marjoram, oregano or chives

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Place the mushrooms on a baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Bake the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden.

Place the mushrooms into a food processor and blitz until they are finely chopped.

Add the sea salt, black pepper, porcini powder, Dijon mustard, crème fraîche and egg yolks. Blitz again until you have a smooth mixture.

Cut out circles from the puff pastry sheets to fit the holes in a mini muffin tin or mini tart tin. If you are not using non-stick tins, make sure you lightly grease the tins first.

Spoon the mushroom mixture into the pastry cases.

Bake the tarts for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden.

Remove the tarts from the tin and garnish with fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, or even some finely chopped chives.

These tarts taste best straight from the oven, but they are also good at room temperature, which is good to know if you wish to make them a bit ahead of time.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Joost 9 October 2013 at 6:25 pm

Love the look of these! I’m thinking slightly bigger, baked in small loose-bottomed tart tins, as a starter.

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eat, little bird 9 October 2013 at 6:29 pm

Great idea!! I think these would work really well as larger tarts with a nice, green salad on the side. But the main advantage of these tiny tarts is you get more pastry ;-)

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Paula 9 October 2013 at 7:24 pm

I love those events!! :) And so exciting to prepare!! :)

I’m sure it will go great, who are not going to like your delicious and cute food?? You’ve choosen really well the recipes!
So please, don’t get nervous and enjoy the party!!!

I really like these tarts, when I saw them on Facebook, I thought it was black pudding, prefer mushrooms :P

I wish I was invited, please, save me some leftovers!! :P

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eat, little bird 9 October 2013 at 10:43 pm

Oh no, these are not black puddings! Ha ha ;-)

I’m looking forward to our little party, although I think it means I will be quite busy in the next few days preparing. But the more I do now, the more I can enjoy the evening with our friends :-) If I get a chance, I will take some photos for you!

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Jennifer @ Delicieux 10 October 2013 at 1:16 am

As a vegetarian myself I know that these will be a hit! I bet the meat eaters will love them too. I’m menu planning at the moment too as my parents are going to be in town for the weekend and it’s my Dad’s birthday so I want to put together some delicious dishes to celebrate.

I hope your cocktail party goes off without a hitch!

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eat, little bird 10 October 2013 at 4:31 pm

I’d love to hear what dishes you have come up with for your dad’s birthday! I’ve done most of the grocery shopping today and will get started tonight on some of the dishes … fingers crossed the evening will go well!

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Anita Menon 10 October 2013 at 10:00 am

A vegetarian option is always welcome. I am thinking of making these soon for a dinner party at my place. I hope your party was fantastic

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eat, little bird 10 October 2013 at 4:33 pm

Rather than serving food for the vegetarians and separate food for the meat-eaters, I like to make something which can be eaten by all. There will be a few dishes just for the carnivores but hopefully the menu will be to everyone’s liking :-)

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Caroline 10 October 2013 at 10:04 am

Oh I adore dinky! I love canapes too, but, I always want more..like the entire tray’s worth!! You could play with the ingredients a fair bit too I think. Lovely! :D

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eat, little bird 10 October 2013 at 4:37 pm

I know what you mean about eating a whole tray of canapés! We were at a party recently where the food spent most of the evening in the kitchen, perhaps forgotten by the hosts. By about midnight, I was famished and sat down to a tray of mini toasts and tapenade and almost finished the lot! Thankfully, I think most people were too tipsy to notice ;-)

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Maggie @Maggiecooks 10 October 2013 at 11:23 pm

I love little tarts! :)

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Rushi 11 October 2013 at 8:02 am

These little tartlets are so cute. Such beautiful presentation. I know I could polish off a whole lot too. Love love love the menu you’ve come up with and I hope your apéro turns out to be a roaring success! :)

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eat, little bird 13 October 2013 at 11:52 pm

Thanks Rushi! It was a fabulous evening!! Everyone had a lot of fun and the food was flowing seamlessly the whole evening. It was the first time we hosted a cocktail party where dinner was served in canapés, so we over-estimated the food a little, but I prefer to over-cater than to under-cater :-) And I managed to prepare everything in advance so there was only minimal time spent in the kitchen once our guests arrived. Overall, hubby and I were very pleased with how the evening turned out :-) I’ll try to post some pictures and recipes on the blog very soon!

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thelittleloaf 14 October 2013 at 10:46 am

Bookmarking this recipe for Christmas canape season! :-)

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