This celebration-style delicious tart came together from a few threads – a memory of an oyster tart from long ago, a friend selling oyster mushroom kits to raise money for a charity, knowing and loving the oyster mushrooms produced by Southern Forests Fungi and a relatively recent introduction to Akoya; the Leeuwin Coast pearlescent oyster variety cultivated and harvested from Mistaken Island in Albany. The flavours and textures bounce with a traditional French spring in its step. Perfect for a special glass of Champagne to toast the festive season ahead or a flinty West Australian Riesling for summer nights on the balcony or in the garden.
(Serves 4 – 6)
300 g celeriac, peeled
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp water
250 ml thickened cream
1 tbsp tarragon & thyme, finely chopped
240 g (2 ½ cups) leek, finely chopped (1 med. leek)
20 g butter
250 ml Sparkling white wine
20 g butter
200 g oyster mushrooms
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 x 375g pack butter puff pastry
1 dozen Akoya, shucked
Freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh dill and tarragon sprigs, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 200˚C. Cut the celeriac into chunks. Butter a medium baking dish. Place the celeriac in the dish together with the water. Season with a little salt and cover with a lid or foil. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until tender.
- Butter and flour the base of a loose-based rectangle tart tin and then line with the puff pastry. Using a fork, evenly prick the base before blind baking in a 200˚C oven with baking paper and weights for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake a further 15 – 20 minutes until golden. Press down the base with the fork to flatten.
- Gently fry the leek in 20 g butter until just translucent. Add the Sparkling white wine and simmer until almost completely reduced. Transfer to a bowl to the side.
- In the same pan, gently fry the oyster mushrooms in 20 g butter until just wilted. Stir through the cooked leeks and season with salt, pepper and the freshly grated nutmeg.
- Transfer the cooked celeriac to a saucepan and pour over the thickened cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Puree and blend together with the eggs using a stick blender or food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir through the chopped tarragon and thyme.
- Preheat oven to 180˚C. Pour the celeriac custard into the pastry base until half filled. Evenly place the oyster mushroom and leek mixture on top. Evenly place and nestle the Akoya down into the leek / oyster mushroom mixture. Grate over a little more nutmeg.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the celeriac custard has just set.
- Serve garnished with dill and tarragon sprigs.
© Sophie Zalokar