Special equipment: a 10-inch springform pan
For the savory mushroom pie: Preheat the oven to 150 degrees F.
Fill a small pot three-quarters full with water; bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in the dried mushrooms and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel, then coarsely chop. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the reconstituted mushrooms and the cremini and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter, garlic, shallots, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the mushrooms and shallots are tender, another 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the milk, cream, nutmeg, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until a frothy foam forms on top.
Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and half of the mushroom mixture to the pie crust. Pour in half of the egg mixture, skimming the foam (this helps prevent mushrooms from floating to the top of the pie). Repeat with the remaining cheese, mushrooms and egg mixture. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the edges are set but the center still jiggles, 1 1/2 hours. Let cool in the pan.
For the herb salad: In a medium bowl, toss the arugula, parsley, chives, tarragon, chile flakes, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
To serve, cut a slice of pie with a serrated knife and top with some herb salad.
Combine the flour, pecorino, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse twice just to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water and pulse until the dough comes together. Remove the lid and squeeze the mixture together. If the mixture is crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough holds together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently form it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with a butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough to 1/3-inch thick and 14 to 16 inches in diameter. Gently lay the dough in the pan. Tuck the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the excess dough hanging over the top edge of the pan, leaving about 1/2 inch of dough (to allow for shrinkage during blind baking).
Cut a piece of parchment paper larger than the springform pan. Lay the parchment over the crust and fill with the dried beans. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until it just begins to brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before filling.
Do not overmix the dough in the food processor: this releases gluten in the flour and makes a tougher crust. Blind baking helps prevent the dough from becoming soggy; blind baking at high temperatures causes the water in the butter to evaporate, creating steam, which results in a light, flaky crust. It also helps prevent shrinkage (when the crust droops down off of the lip of the pie plate). Cultured or European-style butter is made more slowly, so the cream has time to develop flavor. These butters have an 83- to 86-percent fat content, while non-cultured butters have around 81 percent.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Prairie Ranch, Austin, TX