Sunday, February 9, 2014

French Onion Tart

The bubbling cheese, hmmm.

They say that your friends in some way represent who you are. 
As one who lives in a circle of great cooks, every gathering we have somehow always become a time to share our gourmet creations.

This is also my first time making a savory tart crust from scratch, but frankly it actually turned out okay. As long as there's the oozing cheese and the caramelized onion, then the tart is complete (honestly I would just eat the filling by itself)

I have found this recipe to be pretty versatile with the ingredients, the cheese can be substituted to any kind of melt-in-your-mouth cheese you like. 

French Onion Tart

Serves 4 hungry girls, or 2 if you are very hungry and have cravings for onions
tweaked from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) chilled butter, in cubes
3 tablespoons cold water

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cooking wine (really adds flavor)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces or 60 grams) grated Swiss cheese, or your favorite cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (I've used cream once and milk once, does not make a huge difference but cream does give a bolder flavor)

For Crust:
1. Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Add butter; either rub the butter bits into the flour with your fingertips, with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle in cold water and mix it with a spoon. The mixture should form large clumps. Knead it gently into a ball; it will be on the firm side but should be easy to roll.
3. Lightly spray a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable base, or in my case, just a tart pan is fine. 
4. Roll your dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is about 11 inches in diameter. Peel the top plastic layer off and reverse the dough into the prepared tart pan, lifting the sides to drape (rather than pressing/stretching the dough) the dough into the corners. Press the dough the rest of the way in and up the sides. For a nicer looking tart, please leave some dough extended above the edge of the tart pan as the crust will shrink during baking.Chill for 15 minutes in your freezer.

5. While waiting, make the filling: Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan, toss them gently with the butter and oil, reduce the heat to medium-low.
6. Caramelizing onions:it's important to not stir too frequently while the onions caramelize as the onions will barely brown. Cook the onions for around 10 minutes, stir in the salt and sugar and saute without the lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are fully caramelized and have taken on a deep golden color. 
7. Pour in wine and the stock, then turn the heat all the way up and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan (deglazing). 
8. Simmer the mixture until the broth nearly completely disappears (wetter onions will make for a wetter quiche), about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, if needed, and season with freshly ground black pepper. 
9.Let cool until warm. You can hasten this process by spreading the onions out on a plate in the fridge, or even faster, in the freezer.
10. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cream together. [Update] Gently stir the lukewarm onions into the custard.
11. Heat oven to 400 F.

Assemble and bake tart: Fill prepared tart shell with onion-egg mixture.Sprinkle cheese over custard and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the filling and turned slightly releases no wet egg mixture. Serve hot or warm, with a big green salad.

From assemble to out of the oven

The full plate, with spaghetti with meat sauce, spinach salad w/apples and almond bits, quesadillas and a slice of that tart :)