Julia Child’s Alsation Onion Tart

This delicious tart, found in “Baking with Julia” by Dorie Greenspan, is perfect as a holiday appetizer or a first course for a small dinner party. You could also serve this with a small mixed green salad for a light lunch. Dorie says “the recipe can be multiplied without care” Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 4 Servings

About 1/2 pound puff pastry

4 very large onions, peeled and diced

1 cup chicken broth (homemade or canned low sodium)

3 Tbsp heavy cream

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

1/4 pound slab bacon

 

Preparing the Pastry:

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface until it is very thin, 1/8-1/4″ thick. Using the lid of a pot as a guide, cut the pastry with a very sharp knife into a circle 10 to 12 inches across. Transfer the rolled out pastry to an ungreased baking sheet and prick the dough all over, using either a docker or the tines of a fork. Go overboard with this- try arming yourself with a fork in each hand and playing out a lively tattoo on the dough- the docking, or pricking, will keep the pastry from puffing, just what you want for this tart. Cover the pastry with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. You can prepare the pastry up to 1 day ahead.

Make the Topping:

Put the diced onions and the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, discarding any liquid, and let the onions cool. When the onions have cooled, stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. (Keep tasting- you want to go easy on the salt because of the bacon.)

Remove the rind from the bacon and cut the bacon into 1/4″ cubes. Drop the cubes into a large pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute, just to blanch them. Drain and rinse under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels.

Heat a medium skillet over moderately high heat, toss in the bacon pieces, and cook, stirring, for just a minute or two- you don’t want to overcook these, or they’ll turn tough; season with pepper.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain well on paper towels. At this point, the topping can be covered and refrigerated for one day.

Assembling and Baking:

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the pastry round from the refrigerator and top with the cooled onions, spreading the onions all the way to the edge of the pastry. Scatter the bacon pieces over the onions, pushing them down into the onions just a little (this will not only protect the bacon from burning, it will flavor the onions.) Bake the tart for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Storing:

Both the pastry and the topping can be made ahead, but the tart is at its best just baked.

 
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