Friday, April 22, 2011

First Garlic Now Onions

It must be strong flavors month. The phenomenal garlic bread that the Bread Baking Babes baked this month was such a treat that when I saw this Onion Tart with Honey in an issue of Bon Appetit it was a irresistible draw. Who can resist warm, flaky puff pastry, tangy creme fraiche, a bit of nutmeg and thyme, crumbled bacon and ooodles of caramelized onions soaked in honey and wine? Not me.

Since Sweetie and I don't usually indulge in this sort of thing as a twosome, it was provident that we were invited to a birthday party and asked to bring the appetizer. Our hostess even warmed it slightly just before serving. It was a huge hit. In record time every morsel was eaten and we all wanted more. Next time I'm making two batches. The tart almost outshone the delicious marinated grilled lamb and fresh corn salad that were the highlights of dinner, but not quite, at least for me because I just love lamb!

One of the appeals of this tart is the way the sweetness of the onions and honey plays off the saltiness of the bacon. Another is the nice mix of textures with the delicate but crisp puff pastry and the gooey chewiness of the onions. If you use ready made puff pastry and pre-cook the onion mixture as I did, the whole thing comes together fairly quickly. Next time I plan on using the food processor to slice the onions and to make at least two recipes' worth so that I can make two tarts or so that I can freeze the onion mixture to make a tart at another time. Wouldn't that be a nice thing to have in the freezer so that you could create a party worthy appetizer in record time? Totally yum!

Honey-Roasted Onion Tart
February 2011 Bon Appetit magazine

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed

3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dry white wine
2-3 large sweet yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup creme fraiche
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Few sprigs fresh thyme leaves

Using lightly floured rolling pin, roll out puff pastry on lightly flour surface to 14 x 10-inch rectangle. Fold 1/2 inch of pastry edges in toward center on all sides, forming 13 x 9-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry to large rimmed baking sheet. Press firmly on pastry edges with fork to form rim. Chill crust.

Cook bacon in small skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F while bacon is cooking. Transfer crisp bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from skillet.

Whisk honey, wine and reserved 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in large bowl. Add onions; toss to coat. Coat another large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread onion mixture in even layer on sheet. Roast 30 minutes. Turn onions over, allowing rings to separate. Roast until onions are caramelized, turning often for even browning, 30 to 45 minutes. (I cooked them until the least colored ones were pale gold, which meant that some edges were charred, but mostly the mass of onions was medium gold, not darker because they will still be browning while tart cooks later.) cool onions slightly. (At this point, and without leaving the oven on, I refrigerated the onion mixture, then brought it back to room temperature the next day for the baking part.)

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Mix creme fraiche, sea salt,nutmeg and dried thyme in small bowl. Using offset spatula, spread creme fraiche mixture over crust almost to the folded edge. Arrange onions atop creme fraiche. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake tart until crust is light golden brown and topping is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings.


  1. You had me at the caramezed onions. Oh, my.

  2. This sounds wonderful. Puff pastry, bacon, and onions. What's not to love?

  3. Garlic ... then onions ... well, duh, I'm all over this one. Must be making this soon! Oh and my second thought is this would be really wonderful as one of several "small bite" meals along with a tomato tart Gorn has fallen in love with.

  4. "honey, wine and bacon drippings"

    There's no more to say. ;)

  5. David, These are honey and wind caramelized onions...even better.

    Beth, you are right...very you.

    Tanna, yes it would go great with a tomato tart and crisp salad.

    Andreas, does sound like a winning combo...and is.

  6. Oh My Gosh. Seriously AMAZING! I'd write more, but I have to go fetch a cloth to wipe up the pool of drool forming on my keyboard.