If you know me, you’re about to put on your “Liar! You don’t like mushrooms!” pants. You’re right, and I adore you for it. But! BUT. Hear me out–I’m honestly trying to change how I feel about mushrooms.
I went more into depth as to why over on Food Riot, where these babies first appeared. See, making something I know I’m going to love is easy. Making something with an ingredient I don’t care for, but liking the dish in the end? That’s a challenge. Some people commit to running races, some people commit to giving up coffee/sugar/carbs, and some people force themselves to try to get down with some fungus in their food. Different strokes.
Anyhow! Spoiler alert: I’m still working on it. However, these were good enough to share with you–as in, I did not hate them. I ate more than one, even. I strongly suspect that if you are a fan of mushrooms (and this blog is not all about me), you might enjoy these. I mean: Carbs. Cheese. Deep, savory caramelized onions. Good things, all the good things, plus mushrooms.
I love the idea of hand pies, but basically always refuse to make anything individual or mini or “cute” like that. It’s not that I don’t want to. I am just lazy; I’ll pin all the tiny beautiful things (brownie points if you get that reference), but when it comes down to it, I just want to throw some stuff in a pan, have it taste good, and eat it with a spoon over the stove.
Basically, I’m a cavewoman. Cavewomen: nowhere to be found on Pinterest. Everyone already knows how to make fire, which berries will kill you, and how to style a killer hyena pelt*.
*Actually, probably not.
I wasn’t sure which mushrooms to pick for this, honestly. Criminis seemed legitimate, mostly because shiitakes were $15 a pound and… No. Not yet, at least. I have principles! Expensive mushrooms are a risk for a mushroom hater, even though pricier ones logically should taste better. Catch-22, Aisle 4!
The Internet tells me that criminis are just more mature versions of the ubiquitous white button mushroom, though not as mature as the portobello. Who knew it’s all the same thing, just at different stages of fungal life?
Whatever mushroom I went with, I wanted to amp up the deliciousness of these in every way I could. Enter onions.
Not just any onions.
Along with the “infinitely better than every other form of onion,” we have sour cream, good dijon mustard, and–be still my heart–gorgonzola. If I didn’t at least tolerate this, there would be no hope.
Get out your rolling pin. This could easily have been a galette, and a great mushroom galette at that. However, I needed an escape route if I didn’t like this and didn’t want to be stuck with a whole pie of mushrooms…. So, cute, individual, Pinterest-y hand pies won. It was a good decision.
Egg wash, coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper? Also a good decision.
I’m glad I did this, you guys. It gives me just a tiny bit of extra satisfaction–more so than just cooking a great dish I love. That’s probably silly, but I’m going to continue this experiment, and if you’ve got great mushroom recipes, or “this is what converted me” anecdotes, I want ’em! Let’s do this.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, diced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 yellow onions, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the crusts, use a food processor to pulse together the flour and salt just until combined, then add butter, a few pieces at a time, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Whisk together the sour cream and lemon juice in a small bowl and pulse to incorporate this in as well, then add the ice water until the dough sticks together in big lumps. (Alternatively, you can do all this by hand with a pastry cutter.) Turn out onto a floured surface and, being careful not to overwork the dough, form it into a cohesive ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. To caramelize the onions, heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan until shimmering. Add onions and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Microwave mushrooms, covered in a large bowl, for 3-5 minutes until they’re tender and have shrunk and lost a lot of liquid. Drain thoroughly and return to the bowl.
- Add the caramelized onions to the bowl with the mushrooms, then stir in sour cream, mustard, and gorgonzola. Season filling with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare two large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
- To assemble the hand pies, divide your refrigerated dough in half and let it stand at room temperature until pliable, about 5 minutes.
- Roll out each half on a floured surface until about ⅛ inch thick. Cut out about six 4-inch circles out of each sheet. (I used the cover of my burr grinder--I’m sure you have something circular roughly that size around… If not, you could freehand, or cut the dough into squares instead.)
- Altogether, you’ll have about a dozen hand pies, plus a few more if you re-roll the dough scraps (which you’re not supposed to do so as to not overwork the dough, but I always do anyway because I hate wasting food). I ended up with 16.
- Drop a heaping tablespoonful of the filling into the middle of each dough circle (or square). Brush a little water on the outer edge of each circle, then fold over and press the edges firmly together, then use the tines of a fork to make a decorative edge. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
- Combine the egg with 2 tablespoons water to make egg wash. Brush each hand pie thoroughly with the egg wash, then sprinkle a little coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper over each pie.
- Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.