First, I feel I should pre-emptively say: I am aware that my mini mushroom picnic pies look decidedly rustic. This is partly because I like them that way (if I wanted something to look like I’d bought it from a shop, I’d save myself a whole lot of effort and just buy it from a shop), and partly because I’m more interested in how a recipe tastes than how it looks. Oh, and also partly because I’m not very good at pastry. But never mind! Rustic mushroom picnic pies it is.
Hopefully the fact that you can be as inept as I am with pastry, and still end up with a delicious, somewhat presentable picnic pie will be reassuring to those of you who are equally (vegetarian) ham-fisted. Pastry is very forgiving!
By now, you may have noticed my immense love of mushrooms. It’s an obsession, really – I’d put them in everything if I didn’t think you guys would get bored of me. They’re cheap, they’re a great source of protein, aaaand they go with just about everything – so versatile. Mushrooms are brilliant in wintery stews and casseroles, but there’s so much more to them than that – they’re great for summer recipes too. Like these little mushroom picnic pies! They’re creamy, garlicky, herby, all wrapped in flaky, crispy pastry. It really doesn’t get better than that.
No more soggy sandwiches – picnic pies are the way to go.
I also tried making these mushroom picnic pies with a mushroom pâté-style filling, but in the end I decided I preferred this chunkier version. It really is hard to beat creamy garlic mushrooms.
By the way, if you’re not planning any picnics any time soon, these mini mushroom pies are good served warm too, perhaps with some greenery and a bit of potato salad!
- 375 g shortcrust pastry (1 roll)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced fairly small
- 500 g mushrooms, cut into 1cm dice (~ 6 cups when diced) - I used chestnut mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Black pepper
- Small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- Flour for rolling
- 1 tbsp milk
Remove the pastry from the fridge, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, until slightly soft. Add the diced mushrooms and garlic, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are fully cooked and any excess liquid has evaporated.
Remove from the heat, and add the chopped parsley and cream cheese. Mix well, and set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it's nice and thin (even if it's already pre-rolled).
Lightly grease a mini loaf tray or cupcake tray. Line about six cups with a rectangle of pastry, gently pressing it into the corners. If the pastry tears at all, just patch it up with small pieces of pastry. Trim off any excess, leaving just half a centimetre or so around each edge.
When the creamy mushroom mixture is mostly cooled, distribute it into the six pies. Place another piece of pastry on top, and tightly roll the excess pastry to seal (you'll probably have some pastry left over).
Cut a small cross in the top of each pie, and brush with a little milk.
Bake the pies for around 45 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a rack to cool, or serve warm.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.