We have the most amazing family recipe for mushrooms. No, not the fungi ones these are the most divine little pillows of the lightest pastry you can imagine, filled with a teeny bit of jam, topped with mock cream with a sprinkle of chocolate over the top.
These have always been just a little bit special in the family because as you can imagine they are a little fiddly to make. When my Nana used to make these I was really too young to care or to pay attention to learn. By the time I did want to learn and that need to ensure family recipes were passed down, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease had ravaged Nan’s brain to the point where she was no longer making mushrooms. Luckily for our family we had a beautiful Aunty Val who was my Nan’s younger sister and I used to go to visit Aunty Val for baking lessons to ensure that this pastry making skill did not get lost.
I am certain that both my Nan and Aunty Val would be horrified to know that I cheat a little these days instead of crumbling the butter and flour together by hand I use my thermomix (or before that I used the blender). This means that if I work quickly with the pastry I can actually make the cases in summer too. Because I am sure anyone who has tried to work with pastry in the heat of summer it is nearly impossible as the butter melts almost on touch. I have also had to modify the recipe because our son was diagnosed coeliac when he was 8 and this pastry is so light that using straight gluten free flour can mean that it breaks up easier.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sr flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (only if using gluten free flour)
140g unsalted butter
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 small eggs
combine all dry ingredients then the butter until crumbly
make a well and add eggs if the mixture feels dry to touch add a spoon of water it should be slightly moist to touch.
knead quickly on a floured surface
working quickly roll to as thin as you possibly can using a pastry cutter cut circles and place into a tartlette pan like this (it is a shallow dip and more rounded)
Bake in mod oven for approx 8-10 min until light brown
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
55g unsalted butter
combine all the ingredients into a saucepan, on a low heat bring to the boil and stir until it thickens.
250g unsalted butter (I use lurpak it is very light to start with)
6 tbsp water
6 tbsp sugar
Beat butter until white ( if you use a butter that is pale to start with this helps!)
Combine water and sugar over heat until the sugar is all dissolved, removed from the heat and cool
When sugar syrup is cooled add very slowly to the butter keep beating throughout this process, ensure the liquid and butter combine and beat slowly to keep the butter from splitting.
395g can Sweetened Condensed Milk
40g butter, chopped
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat until all combined, butter melter, sugar dissolved and smooth. Then continue to stir as the mixture thickens and changes colour slightly. The earlier you stop this process the sweeter the caramel will be.
Occasionally I will fill with caramel and then pipe whipped cream around the edge.
Whatever I fill with be it lemon butter (the traditional family recipe handed down from my great great grandmother!), jam and mock cream or caramel and whipped cream the key to these delicious treats is getting the pastry just perfect. I promise these will be a hit wherever you take them and they are more than worth the effort!