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Dried Porcini

Penny bun mushrooms dry incredibly well, and add rich thickening umami flavours to soups, sauces, sides whilst also performing well as the main event in a Winter risotto. Dried Porcini is a must have kitchen supply for any wild food enthusiast!

Ingredients and equipment

As many porcini mushrooms as you like... other species in the boletes and leccinum will work but the porcini mushrooms (also known as ceps and penny buns) are famous for their complex flavours.

Be selective with your porcini; young, tender specimens should be reserved for fresh cooking or pickling. Older, softer mushrooms with yellow to green pores make excellent flavoursome powder. And the heat and airflow of dehydration should flush out any larvae which love these mushrooms. At this point there's usually a great big 'nope' from the more squeamish of foodies!

A dehydrator is ideal but any warm dry space with plenty of airflow such as a radiator, woodburner or summer sunshine (as seen in the image) works to!

Sterile, airtight jars such as mason jars. Re used glass jars work just as well.

A pestle and mortar if you're making porcini powder.

Jesse putting the sliced ceps out to dry in the summer sun
making porcini powder with a pestle and mortar

Method

Slice your mushrooms thinly and lay them out in your drying environment (preferably a dehydrator, available online for around £40 and upwards). 

Once dried to a crisp sterilise your jars. Heating them in the oven at 100 degrees C for around ten minutes is usually enough.

If you're making powder (great to add to any sauce to give it a smooth, thick, rich meaty flavour) now is the time to grab that pestle and mortar and get powdering.

Jar your dried mushrooms and store in a cool, dry place.

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