Wild mushrooms, baby leeks, fresh rosemary, and aged cheddar suspended in savory custard, encased in flaky pastry.
Every Saturday morning, almost year-round, I hit the table of foraged mushrooms that begin my photo shoot through Portland Farmers Market.
Now just about everything I’ve discovered over the years about making a PERFECT quiche is already included in Baby Leek, Cheddar & Rosemary Tart. Ditto for PERFECT short crust pastry in Quick & Easy, Flaky, All Butter, Short-Crust Pastry.
So no need to reiterate those techniques in depth here. If you want to master the art of the savory custard tart, I encourage you to read them both.
Hedgehog mushrooms have a lovely, almost mysterious, nutty flavor, which is noticeably deeper than typical cultivated button mushrooms. The only downside I discovered to using them is that they disintegrate if overcooked.
9- to 10-inch, deep-dish, partially prebaked LunaCafe’s Quick & Easy, Flakey, All Butter, Short-Crust Pastry or your favorite pastry (4-6 cup capacity)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium-large leeks, trimmed and sliced crosswise (white and light green portions only) (9 ounces or 4 cups sliced)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces cleaned, trimmed, sliced hedgehog or chanterelle mushrooms
2 cups cream (or half and half)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons, peeled, minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary
3 ounces grated, aged cheddar (about 2 loosely packed cups)
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan (about 1/3 cup)
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- Allow the partially baked pastry (in the pan) to cool on a wire rack.
- To prepare oven, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
- To prepare leeks, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter and slowly cook the leek and garlic until translucent and tender, without browning. Remove from the heat.
- To prepare mushrooms, in a small sauté pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter and quickly cook the mushrooms to release their liquid. After a minute or so, they will have shrunk considerable. With a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl. (Don’t overcook hedgehogs, as they tend to disintegrate.) Reduce the liquid in the pan to 2 tablespoons and pour into a small bowl. Reserve.
- To prepare custard, in a 4-cup glass measuring cup, whisk cream, eggs, garlic, and rosemary until eggs are well incorporated. Season custard well with salt and pepper. Taste to ensure the seasoning is adequate.
- To fill tart, sprinkle a little cheese over the bottom of the pastry shell (melting it quickly under a broiler if you like, to help ensure a crisp bottom crust), and then evenly distribute the leek mixture over the top.
- Pour custard over leek mixture, taking care not to overfill it. Leave ¼- to ½-inch top edge clearance. (If there is custard remaining, fill a ramekin or two and bake in a bain-marie at a later time.)
- Sprinkle top of quiche with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes. (The center indentation should be 3-4 inches in diameter. I used to think that the surface of a custard must be fully “puffed” or convex in appearance before it could be pronounced DONE. This is a mistake that a great many cooks make. Watch for the diminishing center indentation, stop at 3-4 inches and you’ll be fine. The custard continues to cook and set even after it is removed from the oven.)
- Remove quiche from oven and cool on a wire rack, allowing at least 10 minutes of set-up time before cutting. (Actually, quiche tastes best when cooled just a bit.)
- Remove rim of quiche pan and cut into eight wedges to serve. (Because of the delicacy of the pastry, I find it better to cut through the top edge with a serrated bread knife, changing to a flat-bladed knife to finish the bottom of each slice. This way the pastry does not break or shatter.
More LunaCafe Savory Pies & Tarts
- Baby Greens, Green Garlic & Garlic Chive Tarts
- Baby Leek, Cheddar & Rosemary Tart
- Quick & Easy, Flaky, All Butter, Short-Crust Pastry
- Savory Apple Tart with Onion, Cheddar & Blue Cheese
- Yakima Valley Artichoke Appetizer
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- Portland Farmers Market Blog