This pie is so comforting it’s almost Dickensian, but it’s not stodgy at all. If you think of it as mushroom paté in a flaky crust, it’s actually quite elegant. It’s fun to make, doesn’t take too long, and is special enough to be a vegetarian holiday meal. I use a hot water crust on the bottom, and a paté brisée crust on the top, but you could use one or the other for both. I like to put a layer of chard or spinach, sauteed, finely chopped, because I think it adds a nice contrast of flavor and texture, but you can go full-mushroom if you like.
Here’s Ella Fitzgerald, with Louis Jordan singing the delicious Petootie Pie
You’re such a tasty, lump of pastry.
Gotta light the oven –
Gonna cook a dish of lovin’
10 oz mushrooms
1 large shallot – very very finely minced
1 clove garlic – very very finely minced
2 T olive oil
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. sage
1 t. rosemary
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup coarsely chopped mixed nuts (or walnuts & pecans only)
1 cup bread crumbs
1-2 cups sharp cheddar
salt and plenty of pepper
1-2 cups chard sauteed, chopped finely
1. Butter and flour a 4 cup baking dish with tall straight sides. Line with hot water pastry
3. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. When the garlic and shallot start to brown, add the mushrooms. They’ll get all juicy, and then they dry out. Once they dry out, add the wine. Then let them dry out again. They might start to get a little brown and stick to the pan. This is good! Scrape them off the bottom and stir them right in.
4. put the mushrooms in a bowl, add the breadcrumbs, cheese and chopped nuts, and nutmeg. (I toast the nuts in a frying pan before I chop them!) Add salt and plenty of pepper.
5. In a small bowl beat the two eggs. Pour all about about 1 T into the mushroom mixture and stir it up well.
7. Roll out pastry for the top, and place it on top of the pie. Roll up the edges, and mark them with the tines of a fork so they’re well-sealed and look pretty. You can leave a rather high border. Brush with the remaining T. of egg.
9. Run a knife around the edges to make sure it’s not stuck anywhere, and then turn it out onto a plate, and then flip it over onto another so it’s right-side-up. Be gentle! You don’t want to crush it! I like to eat it with mashed potatoes, for the ultimate come-in-out-of-the-cold comfort.