Mushroom and spinach tart

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March 10, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Mushroom and spinach tart: Pastry by Richard Bertinet


Makes a 26cm tart

Shortcrust pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 5g (1 tsp) salt
  • 125g butter, straight from the fridge
  • 1 egg
  • 35g or ml cold water

For the base tart mixture:

  • 400g creme fraiche or mixture of double cream and creme fraiche (say, about 250ml creme fraiche and 150ml double cream).
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated


Mushroom and Spinach: 

  • Knob of butter
  • Several handfuls of various types of mushrooms
  • 200g Spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, pressed down with a knife to release skins and juices


Measure out all the ingredients before you start and break the egg into a small bowl (no need to beat).

Butter: take it straight from the fridge and put it between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper or butter wrappers and bash it firmly with a rolling pin. This softens it while still keeping it cold.

Put it into the flour and tear it into large pieces. Then flake it together with a very light touch – don’t press or squeeze. Stop mixing when the shards of butter are the size of your little fingernail. You don’t need it to be the size of breadcrumbs.

Tip the eggs into the flour mixture, add the water and mix everything together using plastic scraper, until it forms a very rough dough that shouldn’t be sticky.

While it is still in the bowl, press down on the dough with both thumbs, then turn the dough clockwise a few degrees and press down and turn again. Repeat a few times.

Turn the pastry onto a work surface, and work it as you did in the bowl – holding it with both hands, press down gently with your thumbs then turn it clockwise a few degrees and press down with your thumbs again. Repeat this about four or five times in all.

Fold the pastry over itself and press down with your fingertips. Repeat a couple of times till the dough is like plasticine and looks homogeneous.

Finally, pick up the pastry and tap each side on the work surface to square it off so that when you come to roll it, you are starting off with a good shape, rather than raggedy edges.


Wrap the pastry in greaseproof paper (not cling film) and rest it in the fridge for 1 hour or better still, overnight.


Prick the pastry all over with a fork.  Don’t trim it, but leave it overhanging. Place a large sheet of baking paper over the pastry case, then tip in ceramic baking beans and spread them out so that they completely cover the base.  Put the lined tin the fridge for 30 mins to rest and relax.


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

Bake for 15 mins, then lift out the paper and beans and brush the pastry with the beaten egg then beat for another 8 mins.


To make the filling:

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Fry the mushrooms in batches with the garlic. Add the spinach, or fry it separately in olive oil. Drain mushroom and spinach in a sieve over a bowl.  There should be very little excess liquid.

Whisk the creme fraiche/ cream mix a little to loosen it, then mix the eggs in with a wooden spoon (not a whisk – this helps prevent overmixing, which can make the filling dense). Season well and add the grated nutmeg.

Fill the pastry case with mushroom and spinach mix, then pour in cream mix. Sprinkle with a little Gruyere.

Bake at 190 degrees C for about 30 – 35 mins.

 Father Tom Heneghan died 6 March 2013. Much loved.

fathertom2 frtom1jpg

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