Thursday, November 08, 2012

French Onion Tart

A couple of weeks ago, we wanted to have really nice champagne brunch at home, so I made this tart. It's not overly decadent, so it was a great accompaniment to bacon and eggs. It's time-consuming, but some or most of the work can be done ahead of time.

Let me just tell you, it is divine. I want to make it again right now (but then I would be so boring!). The onions alone will blow your mind if you've never slowly caramelized a whole lot of onions the proper way. I only wish I invented this recipe, but alas, it's from Food52 (of course I made some tiny tweaks, but the original version was a wonderfully written recipe). While awesome for brunch, I ate the leftovers for dinner with soup. Eat it with anything you want at any time of day.

French Onion Tart
Adapted from Jennifer Perillo, via Food52.
This tart takes time, but it's not difficult, and the results are worth it. I will always make the dough the day before, so that's how I wrote the recipe. You can, however, do it all in one go. On the other hand, the onions may be made one day ahead as well, as far as step 3. Cover and refrigerate, and bring them to room temperature before continuing with the recipe so the tart filling isn't cold going into the oven. Also, be sure your butter is frozen, so it's easily grated. This is a great way to evenly distribute butter in pastry dough, rather than cutting it into chunks.

For the crust:
3/4 cups (110 g) whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
few dashes cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp paprika
2 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (1/2 cup tightly packed)
4 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 to 3 tablespoons cold seltzer or water
all-purpose flour, for rolling

For the filling:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (1/2 cup tightly packed)

1. To make the crust, add flour, salt and cayenne or paprika to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add cheese and butter and pulse a few times until it forms a sandy-looking mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of the seltzer or water and pulse until dough starts to come together into a ball. If dough is still crumbly, add more seltzer, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough just comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and pat into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. If chilling longer than 30 minutes, let dough soften slightly at room temperature, to  make rolling easier (don't bring all the way up to room temp--it should be cool but pliable for rolling).

2. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot on medium high. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Cover pot, reduce heat to lowest setting and cook until onions have cooked down and released their liquid, about 20 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove lid from the pot and raise heat to medium. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind, you'll be adding cheese, which is salty). Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and very tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in vinegar and transfer to a large bowl.

4. On a piece of parchment paper, roll dough into a 12-inch circle, dusting dough very lightly with all-purpose flour to prevent rolling pin from sticking. Fit into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Fold down sides of dough leaving a 1-inch high crust.

5. To finish the filling, add egg and cheese to onions and stir to combine. Add to tart crust, spreading filling to the edges with a rubber spatula. Bake until slightly puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack and serve.


Lizzie W. Dennison said...

Onions on a tart? This is new to me. I wonder how it will taste. I will have check my breathe after this. :) But I am willing to try making this one for myself.

Phoebe Vuong said...

It sounds new. This is a great way to make children eat onion :)
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