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Mushroom and Mascarpone Tartlets

If mascarpone is unavailable, you can approximate its flavor and consistency by whisking 1/3 cup softened cream cheese with 1/3 cup sour cream until smooth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 disk savory tart dough (see related recipe at left)
  • Flour for rolling out dough
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, including pale green parts, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 lb. cremini, shiitake, or oyster mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, squeezed dry and finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese (see note above)

Directions:

Bake the tart bases
Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Divide the dough disk in half, keeping one half in the refrigerator until needed. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half into a rough round 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Transfer to 1 or 2 baking sheets. Gather the scraps, roll out 1/8 inch thick and cut out additional rounds. You should have about 32 rounds. Pierce the rounds in several places with a fork. Bake until the tart bases are slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Cook the mushrooms
Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and reconstituted porcini, season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and become dry and softened, about 5 minutes.

Assemble the tarts
Spread 1 heaping tsp. of the mascarpone onto each tart base. Mound 2 tsp. of the mushroom mixture on the cheese. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately. Makes about 32 tartlets.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).