Thursday, December 13, 2012

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart


So yesterday I was hanging out on Facebook with my friend, Pastry Chef Online, Jenni Field, and she shared a caramelized onion jam link her fan Leah had shared with HER – because that’s the way Facebook WORKS, you all.  I call it research.  Anyway, I got to thinking that I hadn’t made caramelized onions into a tart for a very long time.  And then, that was all I could think about until I made them for dinner.  (And it was a busy day!)

If you are a fan of sticky onions and goat cheese and puff pastry, this will be your thing.  And best of all, it’s easy.  My daughters say I say that all the time, which apparently diminishes the sentiment (Not.) but it is true here.  It takes a while for the onions to slowly caramelize and get golden and sticky but if you know how to stir using that tricky, tricky implement, the spoon, you will be fine.  Also, can you fold a piece of paper?  Cut a reasonably straight line with a long knife?  Cool.  Then you can make the crust.  Follow along.

Ingredients for two large personal tarts  (Remember personal pizzas?  Like that but nicer.)
2 large onions
1 red chili (optional but highly recommended)
Olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Several sprigs fresh thyme (plus a few small ones for garnish)
3 1/2 oz or 100g goat cheese (more or less – your package size may vary)
2-3 tablespoons dry red or white wine
2 sheets ready-made puff pastry (about 15 oz or 425g together)

Method
Preheat your oven to 425°F or 220°C.  Line your cookie tray with parchment paper.

Peel your onions and slice them as thinly as you can.  If you have a mandolin, go ahead and use it but a sharp knife works just fine too.


Slice the red chili too.

Put the onions in a non-stick pan and give them a good drizzle of olive oil.


Stir them around and then add the salt, sugar, chili and the thyme leaves off of all but four little sprigs, which we will use to decorate the tarts when baking.


Keep the fire low on the onions so they don’t burn but you do want them to start browning a little.  Stir frequently.  Put the lid on if you’d like, for the first 10-15 minutes. But keep checking on them and stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, fold over two sides of your puff pastry sheets.  Then fold up the opposite two sides.



Now fold the original sides one last time.  And then fold the second sides one last time.



Cut a skinny margin off of all the sides.  This should help the tart crust to rise fully in all its layers because a freshly cut edge seems to puff up more successfully than a folded edge.  Save the little scrappy bits.



Dock or pierce the insides of the raised sides with the tip of your sharp knife.


Transfer the tart crusts to your prepared cookie sheet.

Add the wine to the onions and keep the lid off now so the wine and onion juices can evaporate.  Keep an eye on them because this is where they start getting sticky and you don’t want them to burn.  Cook them down until they are fairly thick and look like photo two.



Cut your goat cheese log into eight circles. Or whatever shapes your cheese allows.


Divide the caramelized onions between the two tarts and try to spread them just inside the raised sides.


Lay four pieces of goat cheese on each tart and top with two small sprigs of thyme and the trimmed bits of pastry.


Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the puff pastry crust is puffed and golden.

Aren't they pretty?  

Serve, if desired, with a side salad.  Or just on their own.


Enjoy!

13 comments :

  1. these are gorgeous! and sound super delicious!

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  2. Kate | Food BabblesDecember 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    This is TOTALLY my thing!! It should have just been titled "Kate, This One's For You!" I loooove caramelized onions, goat cheese and buttery, flakey dough. Beautiful!

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  3. Thank you, Jenn! They were delicious. And smaller ones would be party-fancy as appetizers. : )

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  4. I had no idea or I would have named them just that, Kate!

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  5. what a gorgeous tart! and pretty easy to impress the guest too :)

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  6. Thanks, Shannon! I don't know about guests, but my husband liked it. :)

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  7. This is simply stunning. Completely in love with this.

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  8. OK, with the step-by-step, it even looks like something *I* can cook without screwing it up - MrL will love this!

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  9. That's why I always do the step-by-step. I like to see how things are "supposed" to look myself. I hope he does, Carolyne! Please let me know.

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