Mushroom and caraway seed torte
- March 2021
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 30-40 min, plus infusing and cooling
This no-pastry vegetarian torte with king oyster mushrooms, caraway seeds and vegetarian cheese is a cross between a tart and a frittata. It’s perfect for a no-faff family gathering.
- 58.3g (29.9g saturated)
- 27g (22.2g sugars)
- 30g butter
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 6 (about 450g) king oyster mushrooms, cut in half lengthways (see tips)
- 200ml double cream
- 150ml whole milk
- 1 tsp caraway seeds, roughly crushed using a pestle and mortar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 1 medium free-range egg, plus 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 150g nutty hard vegetarian cheese, finely grated (we like goat’s milk gouda, gruyère or coolea – do check the label if you need it to be vegetarian)
- 340g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 75g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped and lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
- Small handful freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
For the grapes
- 400g black or red grapes
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
You’ll also need
- 20cm springform cake tin, greased and lined with compostable baking paper
- Baking sheet lined with compostable baking paper
- Melt the butter and oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Set aside.
- Put the cream, milk, caraway seeds, garlic and bay leaves in a saucepan and gently heat until steaming but not boiling, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
- Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg and egg yolks with the cornflour until smooth. Pour the hot milk mixture over the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Return the mix to the saucepan and set over a low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened, whisking constantly to prevent the mixture sticking to the base of the pan. Remove from the heat, stir in the grated cheese and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Work the cream cheese into the egg mixture using a balloon whisk, season, then pour into the tin. Scatter over half the hazelnuts, top with cooked mushrooms, then sprinkle over the remaining nuts and some extra bay leaves. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the egg mixture has set with a slight wobble in the middle.
- Meanwhile, toss the grapes, balsamic vinegar and sugar together on the lined baking sheet. Put in the oven for the final 25 minutes of the torte baking time.
- Take the torte out of the oven and leave for 15-20 minutes (or longer – see Make Ahead), then carefully remove from the tin and put on a serving plate to serve. Top with the roasted grapes and any juices, then sprinkle with fresh parsley. Slice into wedges and serve with seasonal vegetables of your choice.
King oyster mushrooms are available from larger supermarkets, good greengrocers and specialist Asian grocers. Swap for regular oyster or portobello mushrooms if you prefer.
Freeze egg whites with a pinch of sugar/salt for up to 3 months, labelled with the date and number of whites.
You can make the torte a few hours in advance to allow time for setting and cooling. It’s best served at room temperature or gently heated.
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