CARAMELIZED RED ONION, MUSHROOM AND POTATO TARTLETS

caramelized onion and mushroom tart.jpg

Adapted from the cookbook La Tartine Gourmade, these little tartlets are sweet and savory, and delicious.  For this recipe, you will need a set of 6 tartlet pans.  My brother just gave these to me for my birthday, and I was so excited that I tried them out the next day.

CRUST:

You can use whatever your favorite savory pie crust recipe is.  In La Tartine Gourmade, Béatrice Peltre recommends what is probably a very delicious gluten free crust, but I didn’t have two of the three flours necessary, so I made this gluten-filled crust instead.

  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour (I substituted 1/2 a cup for quinoa flour)
  • 7 Tablespoons COLD Butter (I placed a stick of butter in the freezer for fifteen minutes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 3-5 Tablespoons Ice Water

I used my food processor to bring this crust together.  Of course you can do it the old fashioned way as well, by blending in the butter with a pastry cutter (or two butter knives a la my mother) and bringing the dough together by hand.  But I am once again an advocate for this magical device.

Grate the butter using the grating disk in the food processor.  Add flour, parmesan, salt and egg to the food processor bowl, and blitz the mixture resembles corse meal.  With the motor running, add a tablespoon of ice water at a time until the dough comes together and forms a ball.  Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about a half an hour.  Or if you are impatient, like me, in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

tartlet crust.jpg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Once chilled, divide the ball into six equal pieces.  If you have a kitchen scale, the balls should be about 2.5 oz each.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball out until it is large enough to line a tartlet pan, and gently line each pan, pressing gently into the edges.  Trim off the excess pastry with a knife or your fingers (I just press straight down on the edge of the pan to remove the dough).  Prick each shell with a fork five or six times, and chill again while you finish the remaining pastry shells.

tartlet shells.jpg

Line each shell with parchment paper.  For ease, I usually use scissors into cut into the parchment paper to roughly the size of the base of the tin.  It does make removing the pie weights harder, but it makes getting the weights into the corners easier.  Line with pie weights, or baking beans.  I don’t have enough pie weights right now, but I had dried chick peas, so I used those for half of my tins.  Bake the shells for 15 minutes.  Remove the parchment paper and pie weights and bake again for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before filling.

 


 

But while the dough is chilling, start preparing the fillings.

CARAMELIZED RED ONIONS:

  • 1 Red Onion
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (Optional)
  • 2-3 Sprigs of Thyme

Half the red onion, and slice very thinly.  Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  When hot, add the onion and sprinkle with salt.  Cook slowly and allow the onions to caramelize.  If they begin browning too fast, lower the heat.  Once the onions are soft and golden brown in color, about 15 to 20 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar if using, and the springs of time.  Cook for another ten minutes, stirring more often to avoid burning.

caramelized-onion

POTATOES:

  • 4 Small Red Potatoes

Steam potatoes until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins if you wish.  Cut into thin discs.

MUSHROOMS:

  • 1 Lb Crimini Mushrooms, sliced or chopped, depending on size (The original recipe calls for crimini and/or chanterelles, but I don’t have access to chanterelles.)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Small Leek, white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 or 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley

Add a couple of tablespoons of butter to a pan over medium heat.  Add the leek and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Once soft, but not browned, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until soft.  Transfer to a bowl, and toss with chopped parsley.

mushrooms

EGG MIXTURE:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons crème fraiche or Mexican crema

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the crème/crema.  Season with salt and pepper.

 


 

ASSEMBLING THE TARTLET:

  • 6 Tartlet Shells
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Egg Mixture
  • Potato Slices
  • Mushroom and Leek Mixture
  • Goat Cheese

filling tarts.jpg

Divide the caramelized onions between the six tartlet shells.  Then, evenly distribute the egg mixture amongst the tartlets.  Layer each shell with sliced potatoes, and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Top with mushroom and leek mixture and a healthy crumbling of goat cheese.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

finished tarts.jpg

I love how the sweetness of the caramelized onion balances against the garlicy mushroom and leeks.  These are delicious little savory tarts.

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