Recipe

Free-form mushroom and cheese tart

With a rustic charm, this mushroom and cheese tart is perfect for those new to the world of pastries.

  • 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Ingredients

Free-form mushroom and cheese tart
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400 g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 2 (50g) shallots, chopped finely
  • 200 g spring onion and chive cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg, extra, beaten lightly
  • 100 g fresh ricotta, crumbled coarsely (see cook's notes)
  • 12 small fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup (120g) smooth packaged ricotta (see cook's notes)
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

Method

Free-form mushroom and cheese tart
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan. Line two oven trays with baking paper.
  • 2
    Heat half the butter and half the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add half the mushrooms and half the shallots; season. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until mushrooms are golden. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with remaining butter, oil, mushrooms and shallots.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, process cream cheese, eggs and parmesan until smooth.
  • 4
    Place a pastry sheet on each oven tray. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly between sheets, into a 16cm round, leaving a 4cm border; top with mushroom mixture and chopped parsley. Brush the border with a little of the extra egg. Fold in pastry corners, then remaining sides to partially cover the filling and create a rim. Brush pastry rim with a little more egg. Sprinkle crumbled ricotta and thyme over filling.
  • 5
    Bake tarts for 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden. Serve tarts topped with spoonfuls of smooth ricotta and parsley sprigs.

Notes

You will need to buy two types of ricotta for this recipe: use fresh, dry ricotta, cut from a wheel at the deli counter to crumble over the tart before cooking, and the smooth variety sold in tubs to spoon on the tart just before serving

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