Uncle Allan and Aunt Ginny’s Mushroom Pie

Aunt Ginny, Uncle Alan, Nana and Granddad

I love mushrooms and often, I wonder if this love is somehow genetic, as most of my family shares my love affair. In the Fall, I find mushrooms to be so seasonal–the rustic, forest-y flavors are a perfect compliment to hearty dishes like stews and roasts.

My Uncle Allan and Aunt Ginny make this mushroom pie every Thanksgiving and apparently, my Nana (mother to Uncle Allan) loved it and had seconds! I will be bringing this to the Thanksgiving feast at my Mom’s house this year.

Uncle Allan says he typically makes it the day before and then warms it up after the Turkey is finished and resting. It is a great dish to make for your own feast or to bring along to a potluck.

Mushroom Pie
Makes eight servings

Filling:
8 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 cups chopped onions
1 t. dried thyme leaves
1/4 t. salt
1/4 cup light cream cheese

Crust:
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour (reserve 1 tablespoon to roll crust
1/4 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 T. low fat milk

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  
To prepare filling: Spray large non stick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat.  Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 mins until tender.  Stir in mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, 2 mins. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with thyme and salt, cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 mins until mixture is tender.  Add cream cheese; stir until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
To prepare crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; blend. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add sour cream, stir until mixture forms a soft dough.
Sprinkle clean work surface with reserved 1T of flour; roll 2/3 of dough into a 12” circle.  Fit dough into a 9” pie plate.  Transfer filling to crust-lined pie plate.
Roll remaining dough into a 10”x7” rectangle about ¼” thick.  Cut into 10”x1” strips.  Weave into lattice over filling; pinch edges of crust and lattice together; flute rim.  Brush lattice topping and crust rim evenly with milk; bake 30-40 mins until crust is golden brown.  
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Soupy nights: Autumn mushroom and wild rice soup

While dark chilly rainy days can wear on the soul, I love the potential it brings–potential for soup, tea, red wine, an afghan and a book (or a movie or some knitting or all three all at once for people like me who cannot sit still, even when sitting). It is a delicious, cuddly time of year.

This soup is super earthy and grounding. The rich broth and meaty mushrooms pull you right back down to your plate. With each hearty bite, you can taste Fall and the harvest. And it is an easy way to go meatless–the mushrooms and wild rice are super filling.
Allow about an hour to prep and cook the soup. You can use any combination of mushrooms you like–I used shitake, baby bellas, white buttons and baby petites (which I left whole). My girls helped by washing the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
If you don’t have vegetable broth, but do have chicken broth, feel free to substitute. You will find dried porcini mushrooms in or near the produce department. If you can’t find porcinis, try any other dried mushroom.

Soupy stuff:
1/2 ounce dried porcinis
kosher salt/pepper
1/2 cup wild rice
EVOO, a few tablespoons
10 cups assorted mushrooms (My combo: 5 oz shitake, sliced; 8 oz, baby bellas, sliced, 6 oz baby petites, left whole; 8 white button, sliced)
3 leeks, white and pale-green parts (save the tops for broth!), quartered length wise and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chianti
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1. In a sealed ziploc bag, crush up the dried procini mushrooms, until they are a coarse powder.
2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil, then add a pinch of kosher salt and wild rice. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook under tender, 45-50 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In a large pot, heat about 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium-high heat. Begin cooking the mushrooms in batches (1/3 at a time) with salt and pepper until browned and tender, about 7 minutes, per batches. Add more EVOO before adding a new batch of mushrooms. Set cooked mushrooms aside.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Melt butter, added sliced leeks. Cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in porcini mushroom powder, cook 1 minute. Add chianti and soy sauce, cook 1 minute more.
5. Add vegetable broth to pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, reduce heat to medium and cook 20 minutes. Stir in wild rice, heavy cream and parsley. Serve with crusty bread