- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 5 medium shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 5 cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 3 white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 5-6 slices white bread
- 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, cut into 8 pieces
Chef Maxwell suggests baking these tidbits in eight (1-ounce) ramekins. If you wish, you can substitute any wild mushroom of your choice. If you elect to use dried mushrooms, reconstitute according to package directions.
Whisk together cream, eggs and yolks, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it ripples. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook about 5 to 8 minutes, or until mushrooms soften and the liquid they release has evaporated. Remove from heat.
Heat oven to 350F. Using a 1-ounce ramekin as a cookie cutter, cut 8 circles from one or two slices of bread. Butter all ramekins and press a bread circle into the bottom of each. Remove crust from remaining slices and cut each slice in half lengthwise. Wrap the slices inside the ramekin walls, pressing the ends together so they stick. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly brown. Remove from oven.
Spoon custard into bread-lined ramekins and spoon about 1 teaspoon mushrooms into each. Reserve remaining mushrooms and keep warm. Prepare a water bath: Place ramekins into a roasting pan and pour water into pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (If you wish, place pan into oven first and pour in water from a pitcher.) Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven. Charlottes should come out of ramekins easily but if they don’t, gently run a knife blade around the edges to separate bread from ramekins. Spoon some more mushrooms over the top of each and garnish with thyme sprigs.