Pie time!

WP_20150724_093 (3)

One easy way to enjoy mushrooms is to bake a mushroom pie. If you have not tried this before, I guarantee you’ll be surprised just how good a mushroom pie tastes!

You can use several type of mushrooms for the pie, for example chantarelles, russulas and trumpet shaped chanterelles go really well.

Uncooked mushrooms with some spring onion and zucchini.
Uncooked mushrooms with some spring onion and zucchini.

First prepare the cleaned mushrooms by frying them on a frying pan. Cook the mushrooms on the frying pan without oil or butter, until fluids from the mushroom have evaporated. If you have a lot of mushrooms to cook, don’t cheat by pouring  off some fluids from the frying pan, but let it all evaporate. This way you do not lose any of the great mushroom flavors. If you have plenty of mushrooms fried, you can split the fried mushrooms for different dishes.

Same ingredients cooked.
Same ingredients cooked.

When preparing a pie, you can cook onions and zucchini together with the mushrooms, and season with black or white pepper.

I usually favor organic ingredients when cooking, but for mushroom pies I often use the ready raw dough that you can find in the supermarket freezer. This is for simplicity and practicality: After wondering around in the forest I’m usually tired and hungry and want to enjoy food quickly. If you want to bake the pie dough yourself, it will of course be the best choice and you can use any recipe for a salty pie dough. You could do the pie dough before going to the forest and leave it to fridge to wait for your return.

Pie before cooking in the oven.
Pie before cooking in the oven.

If you use the ready-made pie dough, let it melt while you prepare the mushrooms. Once you have fried the mushrooms, let them cool down for a moment, so that when you add eggs they don’t start to cook immediately (unless you want a pie filled with mushroom scrambled eggs 🙂 ).

For the filling, I usually use 1 dl organic cream, 50 g of Finnish cold smoked reindeer meat, 2 organic eggs and 150 g of grated cheese (e.g. Finnish Polar cheese tastes good). I mix these with the mushrooms & zucchini & onions, and spread evenly on the pie dough. Bake about half an hour in the middle level of oven, in 200 degrees Celsius.

Yes you got it right, this is no diet pie recipe, this is for indulging and enjoying the harvest from the forest!

The bliss of enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of mushroom pie after hiking in the forest!
The bliss of enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of mushroom pie after hiking in the forest!

Hello, Yellow!

InstagramCapture_117debe3-2af1-40f8-bc73-f75746fe9623
Chanterelle

Today in Espoo central park, the yellow beauties had arrived!

WP_20150724_082 (2)
Russula claroflava – Keltahapero

Yellow swamp russula (Keltahapero), the beautiful sun-like spark on the ground, is a delicious edible mushroom. Its cap is the color of buttercup (leinikki) and stem is greyish white. The Finnish name of russula, ‘hapero’, means fragile. It’s very descriptive name for this mushroom, whose stem easily snaps when bent. This is the easiest way to identify any russula. Also the cap and its gills are fragile.

Cantharellus cibarius – Keltavahvero

Another yellow beauty is of course chanterelle. When it emerges from the ground, it looks like someone has sprinkled golden coins into the forest. Chanterelle has a very pleasant and distinctive scent, making it an easy mushroom for beginners to identify and pick. No wonder it is one of favorite mushrooms throughout Finland.

Yellow swamp russula is a tricky treat. Although this summer it grows widely in the forest, it’s a challenge to find it before the maggots do. Even as a small young mushroom which looks perfect from the outside, it may be fully eaten from inside by maggots. You can feel this if you gently push the mushroom. If the stem feels light, you can leave the mushroom on the ground. Even though it can be difficult to find clean yellow swamp russula, I promise, it is worth trying! This mushroom as a strong hemp-like scent when fried, and the taste is very exquisite. It’s best enjoyed on its own, without mixing with other mushrooms, so that the great taste does itself justice. It goes well in an omelet and as a side dish to white fish or a salad.

WP_20150724_015 (2)When you find a chanterelle, it’s worthwhile to look carefully around. Where there’s one, there’s usually more. Both the yellow swamp russula and chanterelle enjoy the company of birch trees. So if you desire to find these, head towards the birches and look around within approximately 30 meters distance from the tree. Chanterelle is very versatile mushroom, you can use it for sauce, stew, pies and it tastes great on a pizza.

WP_20150724_031 (2)WP_20150724_021 (2)Keltahapero