Happy Hour: Mushroom Tarts and a Belmont Cocktail

Happy Hour: Mushroom tarts and a Belmont Cocktail

Welcome my darlings to the Friday Night happy Hour.  Tonight the cocktail I decided to make is called a Belmont and it comes from my Savoy Cocktail book.  I have to admit it is one of the cocktails I have been hesitant to try.  There is no real reason except that I always think it’s a little strange when gin is paired with cream.  I’ve had several pleasant cocktails with cream but when I saw this recipe I just wanted to skim over it.  I think it is because there are so few ingredients in it that the cream stood out to me.  Still tonight was it’s night for testing.  And so test I did.  The recipe is quite simple.

I part grenadine

2 parts gin

1 teaspoon cream

Put them all together in a shaker and shake the dickens out of it until it is foamy. Serve in a lovely glass.

It comes out a lovely and festive pink color.  To be honest it comes out tasting a bit like a cherry creamsicle that has been dipped in gin.  The gin comes through loud and clear.  It is a little odd to taste in that first sip.  I tasted the cherry dreamsicle part first and then the gin arrived on my tastebuds. It took a few sips to get used to it.  It was one of those cocktails I don’t mind having once but probably wouldn’t make again.  Nice, but not fabulous. It won’t be making the household repitoire.

But as there are thousands, if not millions of cocktail and mocktail (for the days when I don’t feel like having alcohol) recipes to try out there, I’m sure the list of ones I don’t mind having more than once will continue to grow.

Tonight I chose mushroom tarts to go along with the cocktail.  I’ve made the recipe many times before in both the large and small tartlets size.  Since the cocktail was bright and cherry I thought something earthy would pair well.  And the tart did work well with the drink.  Usually I serve these with a crisp chardonnay or even an Arnold Palmer if going non-alcoholic.  What I love about these little tarts is that they do freeze really well so you can make a bunch and then cool and freeze the ones you don’t eat.  My baby and I each had one and left the other four to cool for later freezing. (I made six). While I made them in small tartlet pans tonight you can make one big tart to serve as a dinner. We tend to eat this as a summer meal with a fresh salad. All of the measurements are the same, you just put them in one container rather than six.

Ingredients

1 pie crust

1 small yellow onion, diced

½ lb mushrooms, diced

Three sage leaves chopped

1 T butter

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup cream

1 egg yolk

1 whole egg

¼ cup sour cream

Pie weights (I use dried beans)

Tart pan or tartlet pans

  • Cut the pie dough into rounds and press into the pan. 
  • Dock the dough with a fork.
  • Place the tarts on a baking sheet, cover each with foil and put pie weights on the foil.
  • Bake at 375 for 20 minutes
  • Take out of oven, remove foil and pie weights and put back into the oven for another 15 minutes.  They should be golden brown.
  • Set to the side and allow to cool completely.
  • In a sauté pan, melt the butter and add in the onions, mushrooms and sage. 
  • Cook until all of the liquid evaporates (about 10 minutes).  Then take it from the stove and let cool to room temperature.
  • In a bowl mix together the cream, sour cream, egg yolk and egg.
  • Put mushroom mix into the tart shells, pour the custard mix over them and bake in a 325 degree oven until just set and slightly poufy.  (about 45 minutes)
  • Let tarts cool for 20 minutes and serve at room temperature.

This is one of those recipes that seems like it is more complicated than it is because you prepare three things separately and then just bring them together at the end.  It really is very easy and it is something you can make well ahead of time.  You can even make them the day before.  Just let them cool completely then move to the fridge.  When you want to serve them bring them out and let them come up to room temperature. And like I said it makes a really good meal as well as a happy hour treat.




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