Fall and winter holidays are well on the horizon, so I’ve been exploring savory bites that will make nice appetizers and party food. These little wild mushroom pies fit the season perfectly, and they’ve checked all the boxes on my requirements list. They’re cozy, tasty, and look seriously inviting on a serving tray.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I do all of my wild mushroom foraging at the grocery store. It’s the safest way to go, and usually there’s a wide variety available. Any combination of wild mushrooms will work, so choose your favorites! We used lobster mushrooms, chanterelles, morels, and oysters. The mushrooms are chopped and cooked down with rosemary, thyme and white wine. After the mushrooms cool a bit, they are combined with a mixture of goat cheese and cream cheese… mmm-hmm!
This recipe is written with a shortcut, which is refrigerated pie crusts, but you can use your favorite scratch-made pie crust dough if you prefer (see my all-butter favorite here). Cut the dough into mini crusts using a 3.25-inch cutter for the bottom crust and 2.5 inch round cutter for the top. If you don’t have these cutters, you could make templates from parchment paper or find lids or bottle caps the approximate size to use as cutters.
The large dough rounds are pressed into every other cup in a mini cupcake pan, and the smaller rounds are crimped on top. The top crusts were with a 1/2-inch round cutter, which I think looks cute and it also provides a little window to see the filling inside. If you don’t have a cutter this size, you may vent the top crusts by making a slit with a small knife.
You’ll be surprised to find these mini pies a potent, hearty bite. The goat cheese gives them an obvious tang, and the mushrooms paired with rosemary and thyme give them an almost meat-like flavor and texture. There are earthy notes and nutty flavor as well. These would make nice Thanksgiving dinner appetizers, and I know they’ll also carry over well to December holidays. My husband suggested adding them as a surprise addition to our pre-dinner cheese board, which I think is a great idea. I can imagine them now sitting next to the smoked gouda and fig jam (my favorites!).
Mini Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pies
Yields 20 pies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
8 oz. (230g) wild mixed mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup (80ml) white wine
3 oz. (84g) cream cheese at room temperature
3 oz. (84g) goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 packages refrigerated pie crusts/ four 9 inch pie crusts (or 2x this scratch crust)
Egg wash: 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
Flaky sea salt for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
Melt butter with olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until slightly transparent, stirring often, about one minute. Add mushrooms and stir. Cook until they are tender and lightly browned. Add garlic, rosemary and thyme; stir until fragrant, about one minute. Next add the white wine and cook about 2 minutes until the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Mix in goat cheese, cream cheese, fine sea salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Unroll pie crusts on work surface, and cut out 20 dough rounds using a 3.25 inch cookie or biscuit cutter. Cut out 20 more dough rounds using a 2.5 inch cutter. Cut a vent in the centers of the 2.5 inch rounds using a 1/2 inch cutter, or use a knife to make slits in the dough. Remaining dough can be combined and rolled out once if more crusts are needed, or to make decorative elements for the tops of the pies.
Coat two 12-cup or one 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray (we used olive oil cooking spray). Lightly press a 3.25 inch dough round into every other muffin cup in pans, leaving a small overflow edge at top; this will allow room to crimp the dough edges when the top crusts are added. Wipe out the unused muffin cups with a paper towel or clean cloth to prevent cooking spray from scorching. Whisk together egg and water and brush on edges of each crust. Fill each dough cup with about one tablespoon of mushroom mixture. Top each filled cup with the smaller 2 and a half inch dough rounds, and crimp top and bottom edges to seal the pies.
Bush tops of pies with egg wash, and sprinkle each with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool five minutes. Garnish with fresh thyme and you are ready to serve!
Recipe inspired by a Southern Living Kitchen recipe.