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Cheesy Mushroom Pie + Butter Crackers

Whether or not you are looking to replace some of the meat in your diet, or just love mushrooms, my savory Cheesy Mushroom Pie is sure to please. It's so hearty and robust, you won't even miss the meat.

The earthy mushroom has been named the "ingredient of the year" for 2022 by The New York Times, so in honor or that, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes from my new The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook.

For this hearty “pie,” you can use any type of mushrooms and cheese, though I prefer Fontina cheese, which doesn’t overpower the thyme and mushrooms. 

The savory pie is meat-free, but it’s definitely filling enough to eat for dinner, and you won’t even miss the meat.

Cheesy Mushroom Pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
13 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks + 1 tablespoon) butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and divided
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
Cornmeal for dusting, plus 2 tablespoons

5 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (about 12 ounces)
3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
3 cups shredded Fontina cheese (12 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt and pepper to combine. Add 12 tablespoons of the cubed butter and pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like wet sand.  

In a small bowl whisk the eggs plus the extra yolk, then add to the food processor in a slow stream while the motor is running. Process about 30 to 40 seconds, until the dough forms a ball.

Sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on a clean surface and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Press the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and up the sides about an inch. 

Run a butter knife along the top edge of the dough, making a clean, even top. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes. 

Repurpose your Dough
Whenever possible, I try not to let any ingredients of food go to waste. And leftover dough is no exception! If you have any dough remaining after you roll out your crust, you can save it to make my Butter Crackers (recipe below). Be sure to save the extra egg white as well, you'll need that too.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a rack in the center.

While the crust is chilling, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the mushrooms and thyme. 

Cook, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and discard the thyme.

Mix the Fontina and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese in a bowl. 

Remove the chilled crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cornmeal. Top with one-third of the mushroom mixture and half of  the cheese mixture. Repeat the layer, starting with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornmeal, then half of the remaining mushrooms and all of the remaining cheese mix. 

Arrange the last of the mushrooms on top, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Drizzle the pie with olive oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let the pie cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan. 

Drizzle the pie with more olive oil, slice into wedges, garnish with fresh thyme and serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator and eat within 2 to 3 days.

As an added bonus, make your own RITZ-style crackers using the extra piecrust dough and leftover egg white from the Cheesy Mushroom Pie. 

These crackers are an addictive nibble to pair with a cocktail or a glass of chilled wine, as you while away a lazy summer afternoon - which is what I like to do while I watch the chickens cavort in my backyard.

Butter Crackers

Makes about 12 to 16 crackers

Cornmeal, for rolling
Excess Cheesy Mushroom Pie crust dough
1 egg white 
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a clean surface dusted with cornmeal, roll out the excess piecrust dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 1 1/2- or 2 -inch cookie or biscuit cutter, or the rim of a shot glass, to cut out the dough rounds. 

Re-roll the scraps and cut out more rounds. Arrange the rounds, evenly spaced, on a rimmed baking sheet

Whisk the egg white in a small bowl, then brush the tops of the crackers with the white. Prick holes in  each cracker with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with kosher salt. 

Bake until the crackers are slightly barely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Recipes excerpted from The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook (Harper Horizon, 2022).

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If you enjoyed these recipes, you'll love The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook
Available wherever books are sold. 

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