There are chapters for shortcrust pastries, enriched sweet pastries, puff pastry, raised pie pastry, brioche dough, croissant dough, choux pastry, pizza dough, and filo pastry. Each chapter starts with the basic dough recipe and then provides a wide range of recipes making use of it.
One of the things I like about the book is its use of step-by-step pictures and instructions for pastry techniques such as lining a flan tin with pastry, making a pastry lattice top and decorative borders, shaping croissants and so on. In addition each type of pastry has several photographs of how the dough looks as you make it. And there are lots of recipe photographs too. Knowing what you are aiming for gives much greater confidence during the process, for me anyway.
Pete is pastry king in our house so I got him to make the pastry, roll it out into the flan dish and blind bake it for me, and that I’d do the rest. Together, we made this absolutely delicious pea, mushroom and mint flan – a recipe I shall definitely be making again once our home-grown peas start cropping.
The pea, mushroom and mint flan calls on a previous recipe in the book for flan pastry, which is then put to use in this recipe.
In describing flan pastry, the book explains that pâte brisée is more delicate, crumbly and light; whereas flant pastry is less fragile, but crisper and just as good to eat. One downside of the flan pastry recipe is that it creates about 430 grams of pastry, whereas the pea, mushroom and mint flan recipe calls for 260 grams. We used the rest to make some simple purple sprouting broccoli quiches a couple of days later.
Mushroom & Mint Fla
- 260 grams of shortcrust, flan pastry, cold from the fridge
- 500 grams very firm medium button mushrooms, trimmed and cleaned
- 60 grams butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 250 grams podded fresh young peas
- 200 ml double cream
- 25 grams fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
Note: We made the pastry according to the recipe provided earlier in the book. It came together very quickly indeed and was easy to roll out and use. You could use ready made if you prefer.
Note: We used a flan dish rather than a ring, which doesn't allow for the hot flan to easily be removed onto a plate or rack, so we left it to cool down in the dish for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: We used 400 grams of mushrooms instead of 500 grams.
Note: We substituted frozen petit pois for fresh peas.
Note: Where the recipe requires steeping mint in cream, blending it and then sieving it through a chinois, we left the mint in. Next time I would simply chop the leaves more finely and omit the blending and sieving steps.
Roll out the pastry to a round, 3mm thick, and use to line a 20 cm diameter (3.5 cm deep) flan ring. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
Lightly prick the base of the pastry case, line with paper, fill with baking beads, and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the baking beads and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Increase the oven setting to 200 C / Gas 6.
Halve or quarter the mushrooms, depending on size. Heat the butter in a frying pan and then sauté the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until they've released their liquid. Drain, season and leave to cool a little.
Cook the peas in simmering water for 2-3 minutes until barely tender. Drain, refresh in cold water and drain thoroughly, then tip into a bowl, add the mushrooms and toss to mix.
Heat half the cream in a small saucepan. As soon as it comes to the boil, add the mint, take off the heat, cover and leave to infuse until almost cold.
Whiz the cooled cream in a blender for 1 minute, then pass through a fine chinois into a bowl. Using a whisk, gently fold in the rest of the cream, whole egg and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the mushrooms and peas into the pastry case and pour on the creamy mixture.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower oven setting to 180 C / Gas 4 and cook for another 15 minutes. Test by gently inserting a knife tip into the flan; it should come out clean.
Place on a rei rack and lift off the flan ring. Serve warm, cut into slices.
You can see that our mushroom and peas stuck out proud from the creamy custard flan, which looked lovely, but didn’t resemble the clean flat top of the one in the book.
We both really enjoyed the flan – the combination of earthy mushrooms, fresh sweet peas and vibrant mint was delicious. Our flan bottom was a little soggy, perhaps we needed to bake it a little longer, or possibly brush with egg to create a protective layer against the wet custard.
As I mentioned, there are plenty of classic pastries in the book. Pete’s already made the brioche dough, which he used to make brioche bacon twists recipe. They were delicious, if rather less beautifully shaped than those in the pictures!
This promises to be another great reference book to have in our collection.
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Pastry: Savoury and Sweet by Michel Roux is published by Quadrille, who provided a review copy for Kavey Eats.