The purple/blue potatoes make this tart visually striking, but the real star is the bluefoot mushrooms.   Bluefoot mushrooms are hard to find, whether you are foraging in a forest, or picking through high end grocers. But the result is well worth the hunting.  Intensely woody, rich and meaty the cooked bluefoots give off an intoxicating, swoon-enducing aroma. Not unlike porcini, but with a character that is distinctly their own. Bluefoots tend to be very clean (just brush off any dirt around the stem). They do best when they are given a long cooking time, and pair well with members of the onion family and cream; rather like truffles.

So I started knowing I wanted to make a bluefoot and blue potato tart. Add cream and shallots to bring out the bluefoot’s flavor, but it still needed something else. I hesitated before adding blue cheese. The flavor is incredible, but it can tend to overwhelm. But I remembered a gorgonzola risotto I enjoyed– the cheese was mixed into a cream sauce which rendered its flavor surprisingly and pleasantly mild. So I thought a moderate dose of blue cheese might just do the trick.  I love the flavor combination of the woody mushrooms in contrast with the tangy funky blue cheese.  The blueness of these elements certainly brought them together, but given the whole spectrum, I wouldn’t change a thing about this combination. The decadent cream, cheese and expensive bluefoots make this a dish to be enjoyed once in a blue moon, so I thought the name was apropos in more than one way.

 

Ingredients:

1 tart shell, rolled and chilled (see my recipe for flaky pie dough)
1 ¼ lb purple potatoes
3-4 T crumbled blue cheese
2 T. butter
3 shallots
5-6 bluefoot mushrooms
½ c. heavy cream
1 t. salt
1 egg

Yield:

6 servings


 

Prepare Potatoes

Preheat oven to 375°F. Half fill a large stock pot and place over high heat. Scrub potatoes and cut into ¼“ slices. Once the water has come to a boil, add potatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes, until tender. Remove potatoes and drain in a colander.

Cook Mushrooms

Peel and finely chop shallots. Delicately clean off any dirt from the mushrooms with a moist paper towel. Slice into ¼” thick slices. Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add butter. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add in mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring intermittently, until the surface of the mushrooms is lightly browned and the mushrooms are tender. . Add in cream. Cover reduce heat to low, and let mushrooms simmer in cream for 10-15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in salt.

Arrange Fillings

Let the mushroom and cream mixture cool for a few minutes, then stir in the egg and 2 T blue cheese. Reserve a few attractive mushroom slices for the top of the tart. Pour into your prebaked tart shell. Arrange the potato slices into a spiral, switching the direction of the spiral each row. Place the mushroom slices in the center and scatter remaining blue cheese over the surface of the tart.

Bake

Bake tart for 45-55 minutes, until the crust is golden and the custard is set.

Serve

This tart is best served warm.


Printer-friendly recipe here.

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