Ray and Mushroom Tart

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • serves

    6

Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • About

This is an absolutely delicious tart, again inspired by a recipe in Jane Grigson’s Fish Cookery. Skate or ray wing cooked this way could be served as a filling for vol au vents or surrounded by a border of potato in scallop shells, or simply as a fish pie with a top of potato or overlapping croutons.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ray wing
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2–3 sprigs of parsley
  • 2–2½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt
  • 85 g chopped mushrooms
  • ½ clove garlic, crushed
  • 30 g butter
  • ½ tin anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 60 ml (double) cream
  • freshly ground pepper
  • chopped parsley

Shortcrust Pastry

  • 110 g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 55–85 g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons cold water

Béchamel Sauce

  • 30 g butter
  • 1 generous tablespoon flour
  • 300 ml hot milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Topping

  • 1 generous tablespoon Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1 generous tablespoon buttered crumbs

18 cm flan ring

Method

First make the pastry. Sieve the flour with the salt and rub in the butter. Beat the egg yolk with the cold water and bind the mixture with this. You may need a little more water, but do not make the pastry too wet – it should come away cleanly from the bowl. Wrap in clingfilm and rest for 15–30 minutes. Roll out thinly on a floured board and use it to line the flan ring. Line with greaseproof paper, fill with dried beans and bake blind in a preheated moderate oven, 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, for about 20–25 minutes or until almost cooked. Remove the beans and paper and allow to cool.

Take a pan sufficiently wide for the ray wing to lie flat while cooking. Cover it completely with cold water, add onion, parsley, wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring gently to the boil, cover and let barely simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the flesh will lift off the bone easily. Lift the ray wing out on to a plate with a slotted spoon. Remove the skin, lift the flesh off the bone and cut it into 2.5cm pieces.

Meanwhile melt the butter for the béchamel, stir in the flour and gradually add the hot milk, beating well between additions. Season to taste. Leave to cook very slowly for 20 minutes, stirring now and then until you have a thick, creamy sauce (use a heat diffuser mat if you have one).

Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the anchovies, stir well and add the cream. Reduce to a fairly thick sauce. Add to the béchamel and leave to simmer over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Season and add the parsley.

Put a thin layer of sauce into the pastry case, arrange the fish on top, then spoon enough sauce over to cover it well. Sprinkle the top with the Gruyère cheese mixed with the buttered crumbs. Reheat in a fairly hot oven, 200°C/400°F/Gas 6, for 10–15 minutes. Serve with a green salad.