Hedgehog Pie with Ham, Cider and Tarragon
Don’t worry, we’re not advocating eating endangered wildlife – the hedgehogs in this autumnal pie are strictly of the fungal variety! Hedgehog fungi have a firm, almost meaty texture, and a good mushroomy flavour that works well with the ham, cider, tarragon and crème fraîche, but you can use any firm, tasty mushrooms. Topped off with a crust of ready-made puff pastry, this pie is very straightforward to prepare.
- 500g hedgehog fungi
- 25g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 250ml dry cider
- 100g ham, diced
- 150ml full-fat crème fraîche
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 200g ready-made puff pastry (all-butter, for preference)
- Beaten egg, to glaze
- Use a small, sharp knife to scrape away the spikes from under the caps of the hedgehog fungi. Brush the mushrooms clean and trim the stems. Slice the mushrooms thickly and set aside.
- In a large, wide pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes until softened. Turn up the heat and add the sliced hedgehog fungus. Toss briefly to coat with the butter, than allow the mushrooms to cook undisturbed for 5 minutes to take on some colour. Stir and then cook for another five minutes. At some point, the mushrooms will yield their juices into the pan, but keep the heat high until the liquid is evaporated.
- When the mushrooms are softened, add the ham and the cider. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cider has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the crème fraîche and tarragon. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper, and leave to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Butter the rim of a 25cm pie dish, and roll out the pastry to fit the dish. When the filling has cooled, transfer it to the pie dish, and top with the pastry. Trim the pastry to fit the plate, using the scraps to decorate the top as you wish. Cut a couple of slits in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the pastry with beaten egg, put the dish on a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown, then remove from the oven and serve.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK