Saturday, May 09, 2020

Onion Tart with Freeform Puff Pastry

Had a wonderful FaceTime visit with our daughter yesterday...and baked something "together" which I'll post about later. One of the thing that struck me is that she uses 'quarentime' to describe the times we are living through right now. It often does feel like a different version of time than what we had before. I've started writing down on a calendar which days I wash my hair and do the laundry and things like that because one day is so like another that sometimes it's difficult to remember how many days ago I made a salad for dinner vs steamed broccoli, or which days we walked the dog in town and which we didn't. Yes, my mind is getting older, but before quarentime I could remember how many days ago I washed my hair.

Because our meals are usually pretty banal, I've decided that every once in a while I need to make something special. The onion tart I baked a few days ago is an example. In non-quarentimes I used to save it for taking to a dinner party as the appetizer or using it for a dinner party here for the same purpose. Having it for a weeknight dinner, with a nice big serving of plain freshly steamed asparagus (because fresh asparagus don't really need any dressing up!), was fun and unexpected. Still can't remember which weeknight it was, but I think it was Tuesday.

The difference between this tart and others is that I decided to go with an unsupported, freeform puff pastry shell and I cooked the onions in a cast iron skillet over low heat instead of roasting them in the oven. I think it made for a more evenly cooked onion filling, although it was a bit wetter, which was hard on the pastry. Next time I'll reduce the wine a bit. I also used non-dairy ricotta cheese instead of yogurt and I really like the cheese better. has bacon! Who can resist a tart with caramelized onions and bacon?

Hope that you and yours are staying safe and healthy!

Onion Tart with Freeform Puff Pastry

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

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
egg wash of 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon of water, whisked together

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used a non-dairy ricotta by Kite Hill)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Few sprigs fresh thyme leaves

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.

Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 10-inch by 10-inch square. Use a sharp knife to cut 1/2-inch strips from each edge. Transfer large pastry square to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush a very light, thin strip of the egg wash onto the edges of the puff pastry square. Stack the 1/2-inch strips on top, cutting as needed, so that they line just inside the edges of the puff pastry square. Dock the inside of the square by gently poking with the tines of a fork all over. Chill for at least 20 minutes in the freezer. Then brush the egg wash over the thin strips on the edge of the pastry and bake in the preheated oven until light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Set baking sheet with pastry aside on a wire rack to cool.

Whisk honey, wine and reserved 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in large bowl. Add onions; toss to coat. Put into a heavy skillet (cast iron is wonderful!) over low heat and cook, stirring often, until mixture is light golden brown. Cool mixture to room temperature. (At this point, and without leaving the oven on, you can refrigerate the onion mixture, then bring it back to room temperature the next day for the baking part if you prefer to do it in two parts.)

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Return baked puff pastry shell to work area.

Mix ricotta cheese, sea salt, nutmeg and dried thyme in small bowl. Using offset spatula, spread cheese mixture over crust  to the edge pastry. Arrange onions atop cheese layer. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake tart until crust is medium golden brown and topping is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Check at 15 minutes to make sure that crust isn't over browning. If it is, put strips of aluminum foil over the crust sides to shield until topping is done. Onions will have some very dark brown strands. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings.

No comments :

Post a Comment