Archived in 2022
Originally posted on 02 Sep 2007
How long has it been since I last did some serious cooking? I see the potsticker experiment and the ratatouille, but those were back at the start of July. Yeah, I guess it’s really been that long. Huh.
Last weekend I met Andrea and the kids at the farmer’s market. One of the things on Andrea’s shopping list was an onion tart for Bob. Unfortunately, there weren’t any available that day. But it got me thinking…onion tart? I’ve never made one, but it sounds easy enough. I’m sure I could put something together, right?
So yesterday I did. This photo is of the uncooked onion and goat cheese tart, moments before it went into the oven. Finished product after the jump…
And here’s the finished product. The onions were slowly caramelized for three hours and then drained (the juice reserved and used in the poaching liquid for the salmon later). There’s a total of three ounces of crumbled goat cheese in there, which ended up being a good balance between cheese and onions. The crust has been brushed with an egg wash and then sprinkled with fleur de sel.
As good as the onions and cheese are, it’s the crust which makes or breaks this thing. The ingredients in this case are butter, flour and a little ice water. The butter is half salted and half unsalted. After combining the ingredients I used fraisage to give the crust structure. “Fraisage” is a technique where you pile up the crumbly dough and then use the heel of your palm to smear the dough away from you. This generates streaks of butter in the dough. Then end result is strong enough to be folded and support the filling while still being flaky. I don’t have a lot of experience with this technique but it was obviously the right way to go. IMHO, it worked like a dream. The crust was delicious and flaky but didn’t fall apart when lifting a slice of tart.
One last photo, since I really liked this one a lot. Adding the fleur de sel to the top was a last moment thing and wasn’t in the original plan. Nothing complicated, but this small final touch took the tart to that next level. Not only was each slice slightly sparkly but the pronounced crunch and burst of saltiness added an extra dimension to the entire thing.
The entire tart was very simple and easy to put together. Sure, the onions took a long time but that time was almost entirely untended. Over all it was a very good return on investment and I’m likely to do it again very soon. Probably today, since Guy has expressed a (possibly not serious) wish for one to arrive at Casa de Popo tomorrow for the Labor Day Meat-O-Rama. Let’s see whether I can duplicate the tasty tarty goodness.