Mussel tarts

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
8 ounces Buttery shortcrust pastry
2½ kilograms Rope-cultured mussels in the shell
150 millilitres Dry white wine
150 millilitres Water
2 \N Bay leaves
1 \N Shallot; chopped
\N \N Mussel liquor; sieved finely
1 \N Clove garlic; crushed
150 millilitres Double cream
2 tablespoons Flat leaf parsley; chopped
1 \N Sprig winter savory; chopped
\N \N Salt and black pepper
\N \N Parsley to garnish


Wash the mussels and remove the beards. Make 4 tart cases and bake blind.

Heat the wine and water, bay leaf and shallot in a wide large pan until bubbling. Cook the mussels a few at a time, removing them as soon as they open. Discard any that refuse to open. Take the cooked mussel meat out of the shells, removing the liquor. Strain the liquor through a fine sieve to use in the sauce.

To make the sauce, fry the chopped shallot and garlic in the butter. Add the mussel liquor and cream, and reduce so that the cream caramelises. Add the chopped herbs, seasonings and sugar to taste. Go easy on the salt as the mussel liquor is very salty.

Finish with a squeeze of lemon to sharpen the sauce, and finally drop in the mussels to heat through.

Put the pastry cases on to serving plates and fill with the mussel mixture, allowing it to spill over on to the plate on one side.

Drizzle a little sauce around the plate and finish with a spray of parsley.

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