French in a Flash (Classic): Wild Mushroom Vol-au-Vent Recipe

Photographs: Kerry Saretsky

Whenever I think of puff pastry, I wonder how anything that should be so heavy could ever be so light. It is that lightness that gives meaning to vol-au-vent, literally "flying in the wind." But in my family, we always translated them as "gone with the wind" because they fly off into people's stomachs so quickly.

There are a million and one ways to make vol-au-vent, and even though the classic lidded nest in this recipe is the classic shape, I often just make little triangles or squares and call them by the same name, stuffed with anything from goat cheese and jam to brie and brown sugar. They really are blank canvases. This vol-au-vent is well grounded in tradition: a bite-size canapé made from bought puff pastry and stuffed with a creamy mushroom duxelles. The puff pastry is flaky and crispy, ready to crumble and collapse layer by layer at the very hint of a bite. And the mushroom filling is earthy and woodsy from mushrooms and thyme, and smooth from the crème fraîche.

I've always promised to show how to make classic French dishes easy with a little help from the store. This is how you do it.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 9 canapés

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  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but very cold

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 8 ounces wild mixed mushrooms, chopped to a rubble

  • 1 whole, smashed garlic clove

  • 2 stems fresh thyme

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Lightly flour a cutting board, and place the pastry on it. Cut out 9 circles from the pastry using a 2.5-inch biscuit cutter. Use a 1.5-inch biscuit cutter to make an indent (not all the way through) in the center of each pastry circle.

  3. Bake the puff pastry for 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, make the mushroom filling mixture. Melt the butter in a wide sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Sauté the mixture over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the mushrooms have greatly shrunk in size and the pan has dried out. Season with salt and pepper, and add the wine. Allow to reduce. Remove the garlic and thyme stems from the pan, and take the pan off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche.

  5. Use a paring knife to gently remove the center disc from each puff pastry shell. Reserve. Fill the cavity with the mushroom mixture, and replace the pastry disc.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
191 Calories
14g Fat
14g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 191
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 248mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 112mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)