Last weekend Bogdan and I attended our second American Thanksgiving in Amsterdam. Last year we were invited for a very intimate Thanksgiving dinner by our dear friends M and N in Almere – a smaller city about 40 minutes from Amsterdam by train. This year we were invited to our friend C’s place in the red light district for a Friendsgiving potluck.
Working in events, C knows how to plan a potluck and already had a set menu. We opted to make brie & blackberry tarts and mac & cheese. I am of the belief that there can never be enough savoury starters at a holiday party, so I also started playing around with a recipe for a gruyère and mushroom tart.
I really enjoy making very finicky hor d’oeuvres. It’s a moment to slow down and pay attention to the details. Fortunately since I found pre-made puff pastry at our local AH supermarket, these tarts didn’t end up being nearly as involved as they look. For just a bit of effort you get quite a nice looking holiday appetizer.
Of course they can be filled with virtually anything you can think of. If you’ll be transporting them like I did I recommend waiting until they cool before packaging them so that they don’t get soggy from steam and condensation.Print
A savoury puff pastry tart made with rich gruyère sauce and either cherry tomatoes or a mushroom trio with thyme, garlic and black pepper. It’s easy to put together and makes for a beautiful holiday party appetizer.
1 package puff pastry
100 grams shredded gruyère – approximately 1 cup
1/2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup slightly warm milk
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
10 cherry tomatoes
250 grams mushrooms
3 tbsp butter
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp curly parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C
- Cut mushrooms into small pieces and sauté in 1.5 tbsp butter until they’ve reduced and liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic (minced or crushed), black pepper, thyme and another 1/2 tbsp butter then cook 1-2 more minutes and remove from heat.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp butter in a saucepan and add 1/2 tbsp flour when sizzling. Mix and add 3/4 cup of milk and then whisk slowly until thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon. Add gruyere and stir until melted. Set aside.
- Put puff pastry on a floured surface and roll it out evenly to make it a little bigger and flatter. Use a circle pastry cutter to cut out pastry rounds and then move them to a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
- Press an indentation into the center of each round and then use a fork and puncture a circle around the area to let steam escape. Quickly whisk the egg with about a tsp of water until it’s smooth and use a basting brush to brush the egg wash over each pastry round, concentrating especially on the edges.
- Add about 1 tsp of the cheese sauce and a spoonful of the mushroom mix or otherwise sliced or whole cherry tomatoes to each round.
- Bake at 350F/175C for 20-25 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Sprinkle with a bit of chopped curly parsley before serving.
For the puff pastry I used a 270 gram package – 40cm x 24cm.
For the mushrooms I used a mix of cremini, oyster and shiitake