Sunday, April 30, 2017

Midwest Living: Heavenly Morel Tarts

It's morel time!  I must admit...I look forward to this time of year every year.  Because this is when the fun, elusive stuff comes to market.  Things like fiddlehead ferns, morels, and ramps.  Delicious ephemeral beauties.  But once I get these delights home, and the initial glee has faded, I have to figure out what to make with my bounty.  And due to the transient nature of these delicacies, the recipe options can be rather limited.  Luckily I found this tasty pocket of creamy mushroom goodness.  Absolutely well worth the effort and the expense.

Heavenly Morel Tarts
From Midwest Living

3 ounces fresh morel mushrooms*
2 green onions, chopped
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
⅛ teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
⅛ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (17.3-ounce) package puff pastry sheets
1 egg, lightly beaten

Clean mushrooms. Place morel mushrooms, if using, in a large bowl. Cover with cold tap water; add ½ teaspoon salt. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and repeat two more times. Drain thoroughly; pat mushrooms dry with paper towels. Chop mushrooms (you should have 1 cup).

For filling: In a large skillet, cook onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Add mushrooms, salt, white pepper, marjoram, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Remove from heat.  In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and flour until combined. Stir sour cream mixture into mushroom mixture.

On a floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten the puff pastry dough. Cut dough into eighteen 3-inch circles, re-rolling dough as necessary. Using small cutters, make cutouts in the centers of half of the rounds or cut a slit in half of the rounds to let the steam escape during baking.

Place 9 of the circles, without cutouts, on an ungreased baking sheet. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each. Moisten edges of filled pastry with a little water. Add the remaining 9 circles with cutouts or slits. Crimp edges together with a fork. Brush tops with beaten egg.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 16 to 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 9 tarts

*If fresh morels aren't available, substitute 1½-ounces dried morel or porcini mushrooms. In a small bowl, cover the dried mushrooms with hot water. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse under warm running water; squeeze out excess moisture. Slice the mushrooms.

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