Forager Mushroom Pie

Avatar
words :: Feet Banks

Mushrooms grow in dark, wet, shitty places. Which is a lot like where I live! As such, I think it’s important to eat mushrooms often, to suck in some of their powers and hopefully deal with life in a Canadian Coastal rainforest that’s dark, damp, grey 8-9 months of the year. Do mushrooms really help battle seasonal depression? Magic mushrooms do, who’s to say the others won’t help as well?

Mushroom picking (or “foraging” as the kids call it) is like an Easter egg hunt in the forest for better treasures. ANDREA COONEY PHOTOS

In any case, mushrooms are probably going to either save humanity (read Entangled Life) or destroy it (watch The Last of Us or read The Girl with All the Gifts). Either way, it’s probably wise to have acclimatized to mushrooms/fungi as much as possible. And this pie is a great place to start.

Forager Mushroom Pie

This recipe comes from an exceptional pie-maker’s tome, The Book on Pie by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Same book we got the Slow-Roasted Strawberry Pie from (that was bonkers good). Cooney and I tinkered this one a tiny bit to suit our own ideas but the guts of this pie come straight from Ms.McDowell.

This savoury pie is free-form, meaning it’s cooked on a baking sheet rather than a traditional pie dish. (It actually feels kinda like a pizza, but fear not… it’s a pie.)

First of all…

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C

Golden Cheesy Crust

The right crust is essential for savoury pies and this one bakes out firm and delicious to support all the mushrooms in every way.

  • 2 ½ cups flour (all purpose or pastry)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
  • ½ cup shredded aged cheddar (or other firm cheese you like)
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan
  • ½ cup (or so) ice water

Method

  • Get a decent-sized bowl and whisk the flour and salt together
  • Using a pastry blender/cutter (that thing that looks like a five bladed torture device) mix in the butter. Ideally the butter remains in small chunks throughout the dough
  • Add in the cheeses
  • Add ice water until you have good pie dough consistency (slow and easy there champ).
  • Form a disc/oblong ball, wrap in cellophane and put in the fridge.

Filling

If you live in a place prone to damp weather punctuated by the odd heatwave, chances are you can forage some pretty kickass wild mushrooms in the local forests. If not, try to source as wide a variety as possible from the fancier grocery stores and markets. Fresh mushrooms are best for this recipe, avoid re-hydrated ones if possible.

  • 1000 grams / 2 pounds (or so) of mushrooms. We used shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane, enoki, and cremini. Chantrelles or lobster mushroom would be a nice addition.
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus a touch more for drizzle/spraying at the end)
  • 2 tbsp / 1 ounce unsalted butter
  • 2 packed cups of leeks (about two good-sized leeks), halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup whipped cream (in Canada) or heavy cream (elsewhere)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Truffle honey (or truffle salt if you can’t get honey)
  • Small sprigs fresh rosemary, thyme for garnish
Leeks and cream // mushrooms fresh out the over // dough

Method

  1. I like to wash mushrooms, especially story bought ones (as mentioned, they grow in shit sometimes). Trim the musrooms into med/large pieces, leaving natural clusters together when possible.
  2. Put mushrooms on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Lay the mushrooms out evenly and roast in over (425°F) until tender. 20-30 mins. Set aside to cool
  3. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped leeks season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook at medium-low until leeks are soft and almost breaking apart (8–10min).
  4. Stir in cream and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer until the cream thickens (3-4 mins) set aside to cool.
  5. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set over rack to second from bottom placement.
  6. Roll out dough into rectangle shape approx. 25 x 40 cm / 10 x 16 inches.
  7. Transfer dough to baking sheet and brush it with egg wash. Then lightly gouge/dock with fork to create texture. (Option to cut edges of dough so it’s perfectly rectangular if you have OCD.)
  8. Spoon and smear cooled leek/cream mixture on dough, leave 3/4 inch border to edge of dough.
  9. Evenly arrange (nicely, with tips up) the mushrooms over the leek mixture. Don’t be afraid to overlap if need be.
  10. Bake in oven (425°F) until crust is golden brown and mushrooms are crisp. Check it at 25 mins and see how it looks. You might need 10 more min. Def want the dough to be firm enough to support the weight of the mushrooms.
  11. Garnish with the herbs, drizzle with truffle honey (or sprinkle with truffle salt. Or both), cool for 3-5 mins.
  12. Cut with giant knife (not pizza cutter) so as to not push the mushrooms around.
  13. Wow and amaze everyone who tries it.

With a decent variety of mushrooms and the truffle honey/salt, this is a showstopper. Shout out again to Erin Jeanne McDowell’s THE BOOK ON PIE. She lists this as medium difficulty but I found it one of the easier pies yet (probably because Cooney helped). For added effect, have the movie Fantastic Fungi playing in the background while you make this pie.


Copyright 2020 Feet Banks

Pie Quarterly operates on the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw
(Squamish peoples, villages, and community) and respects and honours their History, Culture and Rights.

Scroll To Top