Oysters in crumbly patties full of creamy sauce
- March 2014
- Serves 2
- Hands-on time 45 min, Oven time 25 min, plus chilling
These creamy oyster tarts – as featured in Gone with the Wind – are an unapologetically indulgent treat.
- 59.2g (33.8g saturated)
- 28.9g (2.5g sugars)
- 150g all-butter puff pastry
- 75g unsalted butter, cut into chunks, kept in the fridge, plus a knob extra for frying
- 80g wild mushrooms (we used girolles), roughly chopped
- 8-10 rock oysters, depending on size 100ml dry white wine
- 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp double cream
- Good squeeze lemon juice
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Roll out the puff pastry to 2mm thick, then use to line 2 x 10cm x 2.5cm deep circular tart tins (we used Silverwood). Make sure the pastry is pushed right into the edges of the tin and overhanging the sides slightly. Prick the base lightly.
- Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes or the fridge for 15. Line with foil or baking paper, fill to the brim with baking beans or rice, then bake on a baking tray for 20-25 minutes. Remove the beans/rice and foil/paper, then bake for 5 minutes more until the pastry is golden with no grey patches. Trim the overhang with a serrated knife and burst any pastry blisters. Leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 100°C/fan80°C/gas ¼.
- Meanwhile, melt a knob of butter in a pan over a high heat and fry the mushrooms, tossing, until they’re golden all over and any liquid has evaporated. Season lightly, then put on a plate lined with kitchen paper and keep warm in the oven. Shuck the oysters, reserving the juice. If they’re a little gritty, pat each oyster with kitchen paper and strain the juice through a sieve lined with muslin cloth or an unused J cloth into a small saucepan.
- Add the wine, shallot and vinegar to the pan. Simmer, then reduce the heat and add the oysters. Poach gently for 3-4 minutes, then remove the oysters, strain the liquid through a sieve to remove the shallot (reserve it) and return the liquid to the pan. Boil to reduce to 1 tbsp, then set aside. Heat the grill to high and divide the mushrooms, oysters and some leftover shallot between the tart cases.
- Add the cream to the oyster pan, return to a low heat and simmer for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the butter, chunk by chunk, letting the mixture simmer gently but not boil. If it starts to look too thick or greasy, add a few drops of cold water or lemon juice (taste it first to see which it needs) to loosen it again. Once you’ve added half the butter you can start adding 2 chunks at a time. When all the butter is added, taste the sauce and add a little more lemon if you like. Spoon the sauce over the tart cases (it should be the consistency of double cream), then put the tarts under the grill for a few minutes until they turn golden on top. Serve with bitter salad leaves and a sharp dressing.
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