taleggio cheese

Mushroom & Taleggio Cheese Pie

it all started with cheese.

i fell in love with Taleggio cheese since Jess introduced it to me. so i made this pie on an icy cold day while on holiday with my family last winter. it was a hit – the cheese and the mushroom and the flaky pastry are a perfect combination. you can actually see my mom slapping my brother’s hand away from it in one of the photos. it was gone in 5 minutes.

it’s also a super easy recipe to make, especially since you use ready-made puff pastry that can be bought at any good supermarket. you all know i’m not the most prolific cook – so if i can get away with making something delicious with minimal effort, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

taleggio can be quite difficult to find*, and the imported Italian varieties are often pretty expensive. you can substitute with other semi-soft cheeses like fontina, havarti or raclette – though i would highly recommend hunting down some taleggio if you can! if you buy an imported variety from a local deli the cheese might have quite a pungent smell, don’t be put off by that – it actually has a far milder and almost fruity taste (especially once it’s cooked). don’t use mozzarella as it would probably prove too bland in this pie.

* for local readers: you can find Taleggio at Checkers or Woolies – look for the Portobello brand.

Mushroom & Taleggio Cheese Pie

25g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced (basically one punnet of mushrooms)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (if you can’t find fresh, freeze dried would also work)
375g fresh puff pastry (a standard roll of puff pastry)
1 small packet of fresh rocket (arugula)
300g Taleggio, sliced
1 egg, beaten

– Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
– Reduce the heat, add the garlic and thyme leaves. Season with pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat & leave to cool.
– Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface into a rectangular shape. Try to make it as long as you can so that you have enough space to spread the filling quite thinly.
– Scatter the rocket over 1 half of the pastry, then top with the mushrooms and sliced Taleggio.
– Brush the pastry edges with egg and fold the pastry in half over the filling, pressing to seal.
– Put on a baking sheet and prick the pastry with a fork.
– Set the pie aside to rest while you preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F
– Egg wash the pastry and decorate as you fancy. Make a few slashes in the top before putting it in the oven.
– Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Serve hot!

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