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Those first few days of Fall, when the air is crisp and its breeze graze against your cheeks, hinting that soon nature’s color palate will soon change and thus, so will the colors on our plates. We move from vibrant summer colors to more subdued, earthy tones that for me, represent the warmth and wholesomeness that warms our hearts.
As a gift from a local farmer in Piemote (Northern Italy), I was sent the first crop of porcini mushrooms and was inspired to make this crostata. Of course you don’t have to fly to Italy for your mushrooms, but do source out good quality as they are the star.
Crostata di Funghi Misti con Crema di Cavolfiore
250g whole grain flour
300g mixed mushrooms, cleaned
1 small head of cauliflower
1 medium sized potato
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
50 ml double cream
Fresh ground nutmeg
Flat leaf parsley
Extra virgin olive oil salt
For the crust:
In a mixer, blend the flour and butter (cut into small pieces) until you obtain a sandy consistency. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons water until a firm, smooth ball is formed. Remove from mixer, flatten out and add chopped tarragon. Roll up dough and form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
For the filling:
Boil the cauliflower (cut into florets) and potato in salted water until cooked. Drain and mash. Incorporate the eggs that have been previously beaten, cream, nutmeg and salt.
Thinly slice the mushrooms and sautée with the garlic in olive oil.
Line a 22cm springform pan with baking paper and then line with pastry crust that has been rolled out. Spoon 1/3 of the cauliflower cream over the bottom, followed by 1/3 of the mushroom mixture. Continue layering, alternating cream and mushroom, finishing with a layer of cream and a few porcini on top.
Bake at 220C for 15 minutes, reducing the temperature to 180C for 30 minutes. Let cool on baking rack and serve at room temperature.