In my second post to archive my annual holiday card recipe, I'm thinking to the year I traveled to Paris to celebrate my birthday. I invited just about all my loved ones, and promised to treat to dinner as an incentive, and was surprised and delighted to have about a dozen guests. About then I was feeling pressure to research great meals, which of course was a pretty fun project. I came back inspired to replicate some meals at home, and this tart is one of them. The goat cheese and olives are my addition -- I suspect the Parisians would think I was tampering too much with tradition. But it's perfect lunch with a crunchy salad and a light Pinot Noir.
Paris Vacation Onion Tart
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick ( ½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 egg, slightly beaten
1½ tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pounds onions (about 3) halved and thinly sliced
3 egg yolks
½ cup milk
½ cup half-and-half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 4-ounce log goat cheese, sliced into eight ¼-inch rounds
8 black olives, pitted
Whisk together flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Work butter into flour, using your hands or a pastry blender, until dough resembles oatmeal, with the largest pieces the size of peas. Whisk together egg and ice water, add to bowl and stir just until dough comes together. Turn the dough onto lightly floured surface and knead three or four times with the heel of your hand. Shape into flat round, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take dough out of refrigerator and let rest for 10 minutes. Butter a 10-inch porcelain tart dish, or metal pan with removable bottom. Roll out the pastry and line the tart pan, trim the edges and prick the bottom with a fork. Place back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Line crust with foil and fill with rice or beans. Bake until the edges begin to color, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, discard foil with weights and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large saute pan. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Spread onions evenly in the tart shell. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Stir in milk, half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour custard into tart shell. Arrange goat cheese rounds in a circle near the rim of the tart, olives in a circle near the center. Bake until the custard puffs and turns golden brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Serves six as a light main course.
Recipe used with permission from Janine MacLachlan, The Rustic Kitchen, www. RusticKitchen.com. All rights reserved.