Mushroom Vol-au-Vents are exceptional meatless main course dishes or superb appetizers. Serve one per person for a starter, two for a main. Pairs exceptionally well with a dry Chablis.
- 2 packages (13.2 ounces each) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 Tablespoons butter, chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 Cup (5 1/2 ounces) Cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 1/2 ounces Cepes (mushrooms), thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated
- 2 Tablespoons dry white wine
- 1/4 Cup crème fraîche
- chervil leaves, to serve
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Roll out pastry to 1/3-inch thick. Using a 4-inch round pastry cutter, cut out 12 rounds.
- Using a 2 1/2-inch round pastry cutter, cut a smaller circle out of the center of 6 rounds and discard, or use for another purpose. Make sure the smaller circle is evenly spaced within these discs. Chill until ready to use.
- Brush the 6 whole 4-inch rounds with egg wash and place the 6 rings on top--one each. Place pastry rounds on an oven tray lined with baking tray and prick the center section with a fork to keep the center from rising too much. To ensure a more even rise of the outer ring, double or triple fold aluminum foil and make a tube of it. Insert into the inner circle, keeping it close to the inside edge of the top ring. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Using your fingertips, push down centers slightly and set aside to cool.
- Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add shallot, garlic, thyme and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are golden. Add wine and cook for a further 2 minutes or until wine has almost evaporated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the crème fraîche.
- Divide mushroom mixture between vol-au-vent shells and scatter with chervil leaves to serve.
You don't need to make both the upper and lower levels the same thickness. The lower may be thinner. If the puff pastry you buy is already too thin for the top, brush it with slightly softened butter, add another layer on top, roll it gently and chill it for at least 30 minutes before cutting into shapes.
Decorative cookie cutters can also be used to make the vol-au-vents.