Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ramp and Mushroom Tart

I intended to publish this post April 13, 2012, but just found it in my drafts.  

You may have noticed the new picture of the cabin in the header of my blog, the original one I posted was taken some time ago.  Though I did post an updated photo of the place soon after arriving, I wanted to update the header with a more recent picture, especially since this one was taken on Wednesday this week, before the freeze walloped my hydrangea's.  So now I can look at them in their post blooming beauty for a while (and so can you)!

Today has continued to be a day filled with doing this & that & the other to get ourselves organized and localized so to speak.  It is amazing to me how quickly time passes by each day!  Today, before I knew it, it was dinner time and I was so happy to have leftover Ramp Tart (quiche) that required only a warm up and a fresh wild common plantain salad...yummy!

This post is for Amy:), the recipe for Ramp and Mushroom Tart, excerpted from "Notes from a Maine Kitchen" by Kathy Gunst, and seen on a website that I can no longer trace, unfortunately. I did not take pictures of the process, so you will have to use your imagination!

I hope you are fortunate enough to have access to fresh ramps, but if not, they can be found in specialty shops, and your local grocery if you are lucky.

Ramp and Mushroom Tart

Personally, I use a premade, store bought, rolled and ready to use crust.  I am not a baker, tried once with my first born daughter Erin to bake her 1st birthday cake, and it was a disaster.  I think it is because I am not a great measure-er, rather a little of this a little of that kind of cook.  But I digress.  If you choose to take the leap (one of these days I too will try it, all part of living off the land), here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
a pinch of salt (my kind of instruction:))
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice cold water

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly slices
salt and freshly ground back pepper
8 1/2 ounces ramps, ends trimmed, and the skin removed from the white bulb, with the bulb and greens chopped
7 ounces morels or crimini mushrooms, or wild local spring mushrooms, ends trimmed and thickly slices (we ended up using button mushrooms because we ate all the wild morels Johny harvested a couple days prior, I can only imagine how even more fantastic this tart would be with wild mushrooms)
2 eggs (I recommend local fresh eggs, nothing beats 'em)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In the container of a food processor whirl the flour and salt.  Add the butter and pulse about 15 times, or until the butter is the size of coarse cornmeal.  With the motor running add enough cold water until the dough just begins to come together and pull away from the sides of the machine.  Remove the dough and place in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. [The beauty of prepared crust is all you have to do is put it in the pan as instructed below.]

Make the filling in a large skillet.  Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil over low heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently for 8 minutes.  Season with salt an pepper. Add the ramps and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes (I only did 4 minutes because the ramps are very delicate and you don't want to overcook them).  Add the remaining oil and the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice (another reason to cook the ramps less as they will cook more with the mushrooms).  Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Whisk in the cream and then stir in the two cheeses.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator.  Working on a well floured surface roll out the dough to fit a 11 x 8 inch rectangular tart pan or 9 inch round tart pan with a removable bottom (I used a 9 inch glass pie pan and it worked fabulously).  Trim the excess pastry off the edges and discard (I say squish it up on the edges to make a little crust, never throw away good pastry dough!).  Poke a few holes in the bottom and sides of the pastry with the tines of a fork.  Chill. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Important note: if you are at a higher elevation, we are at 3600 feet, put your oven temperature 25 degrees less than the recipe calls for; the lower air pressure at a higher altitude results in things cooking more quickly and if you follow the recipe exactly you will likely end up with burned whatever you are cooking!

Place the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Pour the cooked ramp mixture into the egg mixture, stirring well.  (My ramp mixture was still warm, so I slowly introduced it to the egg mixture as to not cook the eggs, called tempering I believe, and it works like a charm when patience is not your virtue, or time is not on your side).  Place the filling in the prepared pastry and bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the filling turns a light golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes our dry.  Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into serving pieces.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 6.

I hope you can find ramps and try this recipe.  It is delicious!  Let me know if you did and if you enjoyed it.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope to have you here again soon:)

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