Mushroom and Prosciutto Tarts

Mushroom and Prosciutto Tarts

Mushroom and Prosciutto Tarts
Mushrooms and smokey hams go really well together.  This is a simple little canapé with big flavour.  The béchamel sauce carries the flavour of the mushrooms well – and don't leave out the nutmeg, it is really worth it for added oomf! 

The recipe is easily scaled up for a full size tart or as an entree size, though as a little mouthful of tastiness it is pretty good...  Of course you can also use pre-packaged pastry or pastry shells for ease of preparation.

Makes about 15 mini tarts.

For the pastry:
3 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 cup of flour
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour or chestnuts flour (Note: this adds body to the pastry and makes the tarts a little more durable if they have to make their way around a party on a tray... can omit if you like)
Mushroom and Proscuitto Tarts1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of milk
½  teaspoon of honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
Pinch of white pepper
Tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1  cups whole milk
½ cup Champagne or sparkling wine
Pinch of salt
½ cup gruyere or other strong, gooey cheese
4 rashers of prosciutto, finely cut into strips
6 Swiss brown mushrooms, very finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
Dash of brandy
Pinch of nutmeg
Sage leaves – one per tart

Pre-heat oven to 200°C

For the Pastry:
Sift the flours with the baking powder, mustard, cheese, salt and pepper and rub in the butter.  Add the honey, egg yolk and enough milk to bring the pastry together into a stiff dough.  Knead lightly, then set aside and allow to reset for 20 minutes.
Once rested, roll out pastry to about ½ cm thick and press into mini tart moulds or a greased cupcake tray.

Bake tart shells in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes, or until pastry has become golden.

To make the filling:
In a small saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour, then stir in the milk and champagne and bring the temperature up.  Add the cheese, salt, nutmeg and stir until the sauce is thick and creamy.  Set aside. 

In a separate pan, fry off the strips of prosciutto with the mushrooms and garlic until well browned and aromatic, add the dash of brandy and flame off.

To assemble:
Add a little of the cheesy sauce to the bottom of each pastry case, top with a few slices of mushroom and prosciutto, a sprinkle of cheese and finally a little sage leaf.
Return the tarts to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, just long enough for the sauce to bubble up a little, then serve hot, straight from the oven.