Mushroom and barley pie


Note: the pie filling can be made one day ahead and chilled; the entire pie can be assembled up to 3 hours ahead of time and chilled, uncovered.

¾ c. pearl barley
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
9 scallions, finely chopped
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. red wine
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 lb. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp. water and pinch of salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:  simmer unsoaked barley in 6 cups water and ¼ tsp. salt for 45 minutes; drain and cool.

Filling: Melt butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat; cook garlic and scallions, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, or about 5 minutes.  Add wine and simmer 1 minute.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the barley, and cool completely.  Stir in ricotta, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pastry:  If pastry is not pre-rolled, roll out on lightly floured surface into two 11-inch squares.  Stack squares between sheets of parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Assemble pie: Place a large baking sheet on the middle oven rack, and preheat oven to 400º.   Set one square of pastry on parchment paper, and spread cooled filling evenly over pastry, leaving a 1 inch border.  Brush border with the egg wash and place the second piece of pastry on top of the filling.  Use a fork to crimp the edges, and pierce a few small steam vents in the top of the pie.  Brush the entire top of the pastry with the egg wash, and place onto the pre-heated baking sheet.  Bake untill puffed and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Note: I used a silicone baking sheet instead of the parchment in the oven, and that worked well.  About mid-way through the baking, I did have to tent the corners of the pie with aluminum foil to keep them from burning while the remainder of the pie was browning.

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