A hearty mushroom-balsamic tart for winter

As the days get colder, my stomach growls for something heartier for dinner. Something creamy, cheesy, and with a little umami. I was lucky enough to find some beautiful Chanterelle mushrooms at Berkeley Bowl, (despite the season really ending towards November), with bits of hay and leaves still sticking to the gills, and thought of making a mushroom tart.
The crust recipe is from Lulu's Provencal Table, which is an amazing recipe book from Richard Olney, who was a big influence for Alice Waters. He was one of the first Americans to create a home for himself in France in the 70s, and begin cooking simple French food and published this book.
Crust recipe for a 9" tart:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 10 tsp cold butter, diced
  • 4 tsp cold water
  1. Combine in a bowl, picking up and rolling the flour between your fingers until it clumps.
  2. Combine into a ball using a fork and a little cold water.
  3. Put the dough into the fridge for about an hour. 
  • 1/2 lb of mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 5 tbsp ricotta
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • High quality balsamic vinegar
Cut the mushrooms into long strong strips. Sautee them in butter.
Spread out the dough in a tart pan, and poke holes in it with your fork. Put it back in the fridge.
Separate one egg.
Combine the yolk with ricotta cheese and cream.
Combine the egg white with parmesan.
Pull the crust out, and pour the ricotta cheese mixture onto the bottom. Dot in the mushrooms. Pour the egg white mixture on top. Cover with some sprinkles of thyme and bake for 30 minutes covered, and another 30 minutes uncovered.
After it's done, dot with high quality balsamic vinegar and enjoy!