Morels à la Crème

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    Six–Eight

Appears in

Jane Grigson, in her excellent book Mushroom Feast, has this recipe for morels that she believes to be the dish mentioned in the Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. I made it in individual-sized flan cases and it was superb, but made in a large flan case it is equally good, if not better.

Ingredients

    Pastry

  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 100 g (4 oz) flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons double cream

    Sauce Mornay

  • 30 g (1 generous oz) butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon flour
  • 600 ml (1 pint) hot milk
  • 3 tablespoons double cream

    Mushrooms

  • 500 g (1 lb) morels
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • salt, pepper, paprika,
  • ½ clove garlic, crushed

Method

To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then add the salt and egg. Gently knead into a ball, sprinkle with flour and roll out. Spread half the cream over it, knead and roll out again. Add the remaining cream, knead and roll out, then roll into a ball. Leave in the refrigerator for an hour, then use pastry to line a flan tin with a removable base and bake blind for about 10 minutes in a 200˚C (400˚F, Mark 6) oven.

Meanwhile make the sauce Mornay. Melt butter and fry the vegetables in it until lightly browned; add seasoning and flour. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then add in the hot milk. Simmer for half an hour until the sauce is reduced to a rather thicker consistency than normal for a pouring sauce. Strain into a clean bowl, then add cream.

To prepare the mushrooms, cook them in the butter, lemon juice, sherry, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic for 8 minutes, covered. Remove mushrooms with a perforated spoon and add to the sauce Mornay. Pour into the baked flan case and place in a 230˚C (450˚F, Mark 8) oven for 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it does not burn.

This is a superb dish that will reward all the efforts of preparation.

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