Walnut and Wild Mushroom Pastries

A simple pastry dough envelops this delectable duo, pairing the earthy flavor of mushrooms with the subtle nutty flavor of walnuts. Serve these savory pastries with a simple salad of baby greens tossed with a light balsamic vinaigrette for a light lunch or dinner or serve at your next tea party with a dollop of sour cream as a dip.

INGREDIENTS:

Pastry

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup cold cream cheese, cubed
1 tablespoon whipping cream

Filling

1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cups mushrooms (portobello, shiitake, oyster and chanterelle) roughly chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten

METHOD:

In food processor, pulse flour and salt. Add butter and cream cheese; pulse just until dough forms pea-sized pieces. Drizzle cream evenly over dough and pulse until it begins to clump. Remove dough from processor; pat into round disk [add 1 additional tablespoon cream if dough does not hold together] and refrigerate in plastic wrap at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

In small bowl, pour boiling water over porcini mushrooms and let sit 10 minutes.

In sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add shallots; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender, but not browned. Add mushrooms [not porcini] and walnuts to pan; cooking 5 minutes or until tender. Add porcini mushrooms with water, white wine and thyme; cook 7 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat; let cool. Stir in Parmesan. Can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut 24 circles. Add one heaping tablespoon mushroom mixture to center of 12 circles. Brush edges of pastry with beaten egg; place remaining rounds on top and crimp edges with fork. Slit tops with knife. Arrange 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg. Bake in center of 350°F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve warm.

YIELD: Makes 12 pastries.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe at California Walnuts

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