9.16.2017

White Gold

I am a big fan of truffles. The chocolate kind, for sure, but today is about the fungi.

I love the black truffles from the Périgord region of France. I also love the black ones from Umbria in Italy.

But my favorite is the Italian white truffle from Alba.

I have had fresh ones but once, and it nearly brought me to tears.

It is extremely rare to find a fresh truffle in Tucson. It happens on occasion although most of the time we need to use products made from truffles: truffle butter and truffle oil are easy to find, but many are synthetic.

I once found truffle flour, but I fear that it, too, was flavored with something synthesized in a laboratory.

Truffle salt is one of the best options for true truffle flavor, and my friend Todd brought me some from Italy. The salt is generously flecked with actual pieces of white truffle. White Gold.

Before I even broke the seal on the jar, I could smell the incredibly earthy, almost garlicky aroma.

Eggs are the obvious first choice, followed by popcorn. But I wanted to make something more special so I decided to stay in the fungi family!

Today it is a rich, creamy, mushroom tart with pancetta, shallots, and thyme. Add a sprinkle of white truffle salt on top and you have something really special.

~ David

Mushroom Tart with White Truffle Salt

1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, chilled
1/4 cup ice water

2 tablespoons butter
3 small shallots, peeled and diced
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 cup crème fraîche
1 egg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and freshly ground pepper
white truffle salt, optional (but it's why I made the tart!)


Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Combine the flour and salt in a large, wide bowl. Cut the butter into 32 pieces and add to the flour; toss to coat. Working quickly with your fingertips, pinch the butter into the flour creating flakes of flour-covered butter. Do this until there are no chunks of butter left, only flakes. Sprinkle the water on top then, using a fork, toss the mixture to evenly distribute the water. Next, with your hands, pull the dough together and knead briefly to form a ball. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before rolling. Roll the dough into a 11-inch by 14-inch rectangle and put it in an 8-inch by 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold the excess dough down to make a thick rim for the tart, pressing it into the fluted sides. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork, then put in the freezer for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 425°F. Line the tart shell with foil, and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until it’s lightly colored, about 20 minutes. Remove the tart and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F; remove the weights and foil.

Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and, when melted, add the shallots and pancetta. Cook until the shallots are soft and the pancetta has rendered its fat and is beginning to color. Add the sliced mushrooms and the thyme leaves, and cook until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, egg, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add this cream mixture to the cooled mushrooms and mix well. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly into the tart shell and bake for 30-35 minutes, unit crust is brown and filling is bubbling. Sprinkle immediately with truffle salt and serve warm.

Serves 6 as a light meal.




32 comments:

  1. Hi David, the truffle salt from Italy must be very special and I bet your mushroom tart was exceptional. Never have tasted an actual truffle before, it's on my list. Heard the weather is cooling down, heading home soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fresh truffle are truly an amazing experience, Cheri... hope you get to try one soon! I have been told Oregon is now growing them... maybe you can find one before you return to AZ!

      September is one of my favorite months in Tucson - dry, hot during the day and heavenly at night!

      Delete
  2. This looks like heaven! If you can't get truffle salt, what would you use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, truffle oil is the other option but finding real truffle oil is near impossible! There are many good truffle salts available online, if you want. Finally, Markipedia really dislikes truffles, so he says the tart is perfect just as it is, without the salt!

      Delete
  3. A lovely thing, David. I missed the truffle season this year, as we were overseas. We have black truffles growing very successfully locally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are lucky truffles grow so well there, Liz!

      Delete
  4. I had truffles once at Bon Marché in Paris where the cook grated them over my raviolis. I was in food heaven. I like the way you make your crust for this delicious looking tart .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I miss my home-cooked scrambled eggs with truffle salt. Maybe I should have brought my jar away travelling with me.

    This mushroom tart, however. Oh my! That wouldn't last 10 minutes if I was near.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so near to good sources now, John - you should buy some for the rest of your trip!

      Delete
  6. Looks wonderful, David. I've never had (or even heard of) truffle salt but I'm very curious to try it. I've enjoyed fresh truffles on the rare occasions that I've had them, but I tend not to like truffle flavored products. Now I recently read that many are not made with truffles—I'm wondering if that's the issue...? But salt flecked with bits of real truffle? That might just be the ticket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is one of the key things to look for, Frank - flecks of real truffle. None of the flavored stuff for me, either. I found some great truffle products in Siena this year, and love them. The salt - which, as I said, was a gift - is a great finishing salt. I hope you can find some!

      Delete
  7. This looks fabulous, David! I am curious how one deals with the deceitful practices of the truffle trade. Are there certain sources you can recommend so that one can be sure of getting the real deal?? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirsten, one of my most trusted sources - or so I thought - was Urbani. However, I just read in The NY Times yesterday that they are being sued for false advertising. What I have learned is that we need to read the labels to make sure we are getting actual truffles and not synthetic flavors. Avoid products that use the word "essence" for example - that seems to signal synthetic or chemical flavors. Honestly, I think with products from France and Italy you stand the best chance.

      Delete
  8. I love truffle oil so I am sure I would love truffle salt. Sometimes the really good stuff is worth a few extra pennies. This tart looks lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Emma - when it comes to truffles, paying more is worth it!

      Delete
  9. Hi, David! Tell us WHERE to buy this truffle salt. I looked online and only find it in Italy. Did you buy it in the States? Please, please, do tell! A couple of years ago I found, at Marshall's (of all places) a white truffle oil and a black truffle oil from Sonoma Harvest. Since I am definitely a truffle novice, do you suppose that oil was actually authentic? I gave the white to our neighbors for Christmas. Did I make a mistake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ciao, Catering! I have looked on Sonoma Harvest's website and have found no ingredients list for their truffle oils, which makes me suspicious. My sense is that they probably use synthetic flavors, like most producers. There was an article in yesterday's NY Times about how four major producers were facing class action suits because they list "truffle essence" which might be synthetic. I did find this salt online: https://www.amazon.com/Spice-Lab-Gourmet-Italian-Truffle/dp/B004LOJGBU/ref=sr_1_7_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1505710124&sr=8-7&keywords=white+truffle+salt - it seems authentic, although I can't say for sure. Mine came from Italy, where they are pretty serious about their product. Sabatino also seems to have good black truffle sea salt from Italy, available from US sellers. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  10. Yummm, it looks so delicious!

    But why aren't you using some tool to make recipe cards for your recipes?
    Here is a good one: http://www.recipesgenerator.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Omar - I will have to look into it again. Previously, I haven't liked the design elements.

      Delete
  11. David, I love this everything about this recipe and I actually have black truffle salt in my pantry! It was on sale as part of a promotion at my grocery store last year (it's also from Italy) and I bought some. I've really enjoyed putting it on eggs, sauteed squash and corn on the cob! Next I will try some sprinkled on this lovely tart :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Black truffle salt would be great on this, Marcelle! Yum!

      Delete
  12. White gold, indeed.
    Another beautiful concoction from your kitchen, D.
    I swear I'd weigh 400 lbs if I lived next to you! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may have heard that before- like from all my friends!

      Delete
  13. Real truffle is real good. Truffle oil with it's "all natural" ingredients may have its place in cooking but it is not real truffle. I've found truffle butter and truffle oil is typically made with real truffle. GREG

    ReplyDelete
  14. David, I don't often have such a reaction to a food blog post as I did to this just now. I wanted to have a big slice of this immediately! Unfortunately, it will actually be a few days before I can fit this into my "line-up," but I will be making this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so sweet, Jean! I know what you mean about the "line up!" So much food to make and so few days!

      Delete
  15. Being a mushroom and tart fan, this looks amazing, David! I've not yet tried fungi truffles but have a small jar of it in some sort of liquid in the cupboard. Perhaps, I can grate or shave some of it on this tart as a substitute? Interesting that truffles smell like earth and garlic. The white truffles sound wonderful. I like the photo of the furry bear bowl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bear bowl is actually a non-functional measuring cup! The cups are cute but they are not graded for measure. SO I use them for serving and fun photos! Thanks for noticing, Ngeun! Your truffle should work well on top of this tart!

      Delete
  16. Looks delicious David. We have a local person who goes out hunting local mushrooms and then imports more exotic things, including truffles and truffle salt. I may have to check that out!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

If you would like to receive follow-up comments, simply click the "Subscribe by E-mail" link to the right of the "Publish" and "Preview" buttons.