meet me in muskoka + a mushroom, cheddar, and leek pie, lake style

mushroom tart

If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen various points of the mileage I mentioned yesterday; to be quite honest, I was actually surprised at how little pictures I actually took during our travels, and that goes for most of our adventures as of late.


{captain + first mate}

I’ve been really bad about carting my DSLR on vacations with me lately (partly due to the fact that I desperately need a new telephoto lens – which obviously doesn’t come on the cheap – and I’ve been sticking my head in the sand and pretending my old one works just fine….it doesn’t), and it’s too easy to fall into the habit of snippity snapping away with ye old iPhone.


I yammered on enough yesterday about how wonderful island living is up in Muskoka, but it would be remiss of me not to mention this mushroom pie – even though I’ve got but one photograph as evidence of it’s brief existence.


The thing about cooking for a crowd on an island is that you truly have to make due with what you’ve got on hand – you can’t be afraid to substitute and experiment, because exactly no one is going to volunteer to ferry you by boat to the dock and accompany you by car for the 25 minutes it takes to reach the nearest grocery market to pick up a cup of this or package of that. I’m going to guess that not everyone considers creme fraiche a fridge staple (is that just me?), so if you don’t have it – toss in some sour cream! Or be even more rebellious and use Greek yogurt. Swap out the cheddar for swiss, gruyere, or even gouda, the onion can be swapped with shallot, the scallions with chives, and the cremini mushrooms for shiitake, chopped portobello, or a mix of all three. At that point this pie won’t even really resemble this recipe I suppose, but I can assure you that you’ll still win brunch regardless of what iteration this pie takes on.


Mushroom, Cheddar, and Leek Pie, Lake (Lazy) style
Makes one 9″ pie

You can be all virtuous and make your own pie crust, or if you’re at a lakehouse/skihouse/any old house and you just want to take a short cut, I can assure you from experience that a frozen pie crust works just fine.

1 nine inch prepared pie crust, or your favorite single pie crust recipe
olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
1 pound Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 leeks, split down the middle, well rinsed, and sliced 1/4″ thick
1 handful fresh thyme, leaves separated and stems discarded
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream in a pinch)
1/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375. Par bake your crust for 10-15 minutes just till it is lightly golden brown. While your crust par bakes, set a large heavy skillet over medium heat and swirl the bottom with olive oil and the Tbsp of butter. When the butter is melted and starting to bubble, add the chopped onion and sliced leeks, and cook them for 2 minutes till they are starting to soften. Increase the heat to medium high, and then add the sliced mushrooms and a large pinch of salt, and toss them to combine with the onion and leeks. Cook the mushrooms for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they release all of their liquid and the liquid evaporates. Taste one and adjust the seasoning if needed; you will season the custard filling, so don’t make the mushrooms too salty. The mushrooms should be nice and golden brown and tender – if they aren’t, cook them just a bit longer. Add in the grated garlic and thyme leaves and cook just until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Place the sauteed mushroom and leek mixture in a bowl to the side to cool.

Next, make your custard filling. In a mixing bowl, mix your creme fraiche with the milk and whisk until it is smooth, and then add the eggs. Mix again until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the grated white cheddar, the parmesan, a good pinch of salt and few cranks of fresh black pepper. Fold in the cooked and cooled mushrooms.

Carefully pour the custard-mushroom mixture into the par baked pie shell. Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes, until it is just a bit puffed and is a light golden brown on the top. (A cake tester inserted into the center should not reveal any wet or drippy custard). Let the pie cool for 15 minutes to let it set. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature – it makes an especially nice lunch or light supper with a lightly dressed green salad on the side.


2 responses to “meet me in muskoka + a mushroom, cheddar, and leek pie, lake style

  1. wow!!!! wonderful post!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! I can make this for company and we can nibble all weekend. 🙂
    Thanks Cory!

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