It seems like ages since I last blogged, which is not to say I have not been cooking; just no time to write about it! We spent 3 weeks in New England visiting family–our first trip since COVID. From Boston we flew to Ireland and are now getting settled in our quiet, beautiful little village of Spiddal. Quintessential Ireland! Lots of Irish goodies to come, but first, I want to talk about this tart I made for my friend, Dorita before leaving Arizona. I didn’t realize until she arrived for dinner that she is not a big truffle fan, but she really liked this tart! The truffle flavor is subtle.
Because I used frozen puff pastry, this tart is quick and easy to throw together and paired with a salad turns an ordinary weeknight supper into something a bit more elegant.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsps. truffle butter, divided
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced, about 1 cup
1/3 cup shallots, sliced
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 large egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. of water to make an egg wash
8 oz. goat cheese, softened
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, plus fresh thyme leaves for finishing the tart
Generous sprinkle of truffle zest
|I bought this Italian black truffle butter online. It is awesome!
|What I like about this truffle zest is that it tastes very authentic;
exactly like truffles, unlike truffle oil, which
can be very harsh and artificial tasting.
Take puff pastry out and let it thaw for about 40 minutes until soft and pliable. Meanwhile, make the mushroom/shallot mix. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. truffle butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until dry and are starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the second tablespoon of truffle butter and saute shallots until they are soft and slightly caramelized; about 4 more minutes. Add nutmeg, sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
When puff pastry is pliable, preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 15×10 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
Flour a smooth surface and roll out the pastry to be a little bigger (about an inch) than the baking sheet as you want to make a lip around the edges. Place the pastry on the baking sheet and crimp the edges. Gently poke the pastry with a fork. When the puff pastry cooks it will puff up and this helps keep the tart in shape. As it cools it puffs down. Brush the pastry with the egg wash.
Pre-bake the tart shell for 10-15 minutes, or until golden in color.
When the puff pastry comes out of the oven, if it is very puffy, as mine was, very carefully re-poke the crust to deflate making sure you don’t poke all the way through the crust to the bottom.
Spread or sprinkle the goat cheese over the entire tart. Top with mushroom/shallot mixture. Sprinkle with a little more fresh thyme.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. This tart is good served warm or at room temperature.
I’m going to close by sending another very happy birthday wish to my dear brother who celebrated on June 13th, and also share a couple shots from our trip to Boston. My brother is a constant inspiration to me. His ‘joie de vis’, positive attitude and good nature is so uplifting. You are a joy to be around my brother! You make me SMILE and my heart HAPPY!
|My brother, Skip getting birthday kisses from Maggie!
And here’s the cake I made for his special day. In our family, the only birthday cake was an Angel Food cake. I have made angel food from scratch, but quite honestly Betty Crocker does it better, which makes putting this cake together a snap! Make the cake the day before filling and frosting. After the cake is baked, place upside down on a bottle and let it sit on the counter overnight.
To assemble the cake:
Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into thirds. Whip about 1 1/2 cups heavy cream with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar. Adjust both if you want it more chocolatey or sweeter. Add a pinch of salt.
Generously fill each layer with the chocolate whipped cream and then frost the outside of the cake with a generous amount of cream. Place about 1 1/2 cups of raspberries in the center of the cake and garnish the edge with additional berries. So simple, but looks kind of impressive.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SKIP!!
NEXT TIME, I PROMISE SOMETHING IRISH!!
|North End, Boston. My wonderful 2 sons,
Justin and Michael and husband, Jerry.
|Happy family! After 3 attempted wedding
dates due to COVID…it’s official!
Alison is our DAUGHTER (in-law)!