mushroom and fondue filo pie
Wed, 3 February, 2021
Fondue Savoyarde meets a Greek pie – it must be Ottolenghi. My mushroom and fondue filo pie is based on Yotam’s recipe from NY Times Cooking.
Ottolenghi’s pie with a twist
My take on Ottolenghi Butternut Squash and Fondue Pie cuts a few corners, like home-pickled jalapeños for instance. That’s simply because I had an open jar of good pickled jalapeños in the fridge and waste is what I dislike more than cutting corners.
Raclette Savoyarde (not)
Let alone shop-bought pickles, I think the Savoyards would be much more appalled at Yotam putting Raclette cheese into a filo nest. Raclette’s place on earth is in a half-wheel placed on a tilted holder, the cut side exposed to a powerful heater.
All looks a little like an old-fashioned tanning lamp for the cheese. The outside layer melts and oozes down, to be cleverly caught onto a dainty little shovel and oozed onto baked potatoes or charcuterie. Not a crumb of filo pastry in sight.
Why twist an Ottolenghi recipe?
But I, not a Savoyarde, have a problem with butternut squash rather than the Raclette sacrilege. I know, people tell me all the time that it’s lovely when well-seasoned and smothered with cheese, but a lump of cardboard probably would too in such circumstances.
And if there’s a vegetable (I KNOW it’s not a vegetable) that goes with cheese, it’s mushrooms. Plus, I skip the onions. I have an open plan kitchen so I skip onions whenever I can. That’s a joke but I’m sure a few people will sympathise with the above sentiment.
It’s not complicated
Mine is a much simpler recipe than Yotam’s, obviously (OBVIOUSLY!). I roast the mushrooms like he roasted the butternut squash and they take much shorter.
For the filling I cut out the whole egg YO includes as I wanted to avoid the quiche-y feeling. You can easily cut the yolks too and keep just the cheese and cream if you want to make it less rich. But don’t omit the wine infusion – it makes the filling taste gorgeous.
How to build the fondue pie
It’s a tart rather than a pie – we Brits believe a pie must have a closure. Not unlike spanakopita, though the Greeks agree with the Brits in that matter, always closing their pitas with a covering of filo. Brushing the filo layers with butter makes them crispier but use oil if that’s your preference.
Fanning out the pastry layers makes a nest for the cheese and a tin helps to keep the filling contained as it’s a little runny. But a cake tin isn’t de rigueur: you can use a little wider flan or tart dish.
The filling is made of the cheese or cheeses, the wine and herb infusion and the egg yolks, with a little cornflour to help bind it. It’s layered with mushrooms in the filo nest but if you’re wondering if it can all be mixed together, you guess right. The layering is pure Yotam – it must have rubbed off on me.
The overhanging filo pastry needs to be scrunched up and tucked in around the sides, leaving most of the filling exposed and adorned with jalapeño slices. Baking takes about forty minutes and, even though you’ll be itching to tuck in, let the pie stand a while. Cutting freshly baked filo leads to a shower of shards all over the place.
mushroom and fondue filo pieServings: 4Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
, main course
, tarts and pies
, middle eastern
- 250g (8 oz.) chestnut mushrooms
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 120ml (1⁄2 cup) dry white wine
- 7-8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 180ml (3⁄4 cup) double cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 125g (about 11⁄2 lightly packed cups) Raclette cheese
- 115g (about 11⁄3 lightly packed cups) Gruyère cheese
- 65g (5 tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 7 sheets filo pastry, thawed if frozen
- 2 tbsp. pickled jalapeño slices
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch/23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper.
2. Slice the mushrooms thickly, season with salt and pepper and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Arrange them in a single later on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, turning them over roughly halfway-through. Set aside to cool.
3. Turn the oven down to 190C/375F/gas 5 with a rack positioned in the lower part of the oven.
4. Heat the other tbsp. of oil in a small saucepan and press the garlic cloves into it. Cook for half a minute till it starts to colour very lightly. Turn up the heat, pour in the wine and boil vigorously for 3-4 minutes until reduced by half. Strip the leaves from all but 2 sprigs of thyme and add to the wine mixture. Set aside to cool.
5. Pour the cream into a large bowl, add the egg yolks, cornflour, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and whisk to combine. Grate the cheeses coarsely into the bowl, add the wine mix and stir well.
6. Melt the butter. Use it to brush filo sheets one by one, place each over the prepared tin pushing it gently to line the bottom and leaving the overhang over the sides. Rotate each following filo sheet slightly to arrange them in a fan-like shape evenly around the tin.
7. Scatter half the mushrooms over the bottom of the tin, spoon half the cheese mix, repeat with the mushrooms and the remaining cheese.
8. Scrunch up the overhanging filo around the sides to create a rim; leave most of the centre exposed. Brush the rim with butter and arrange chilli slices and remaining thyme sprigs on top of the cheese.
9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the rim of the tin using an oven glove and return the pie into the oven for 10-15 minutes longer so the sides brown and crispen.
10. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 20 minutes before serving – otherwise there will be a filo shard shower when you try to cut the pie.
11. Cut into tranches with a serrated knife and serve with green salad. It’s also lovely cold, at room temperature.