Saturday

A Tart

Mmmmm, experimentation that works out, quelle satisfaction!
This one's a newby that I tried out a few nights ago as we had in abundance: onions, almond meal, cheese, eggs.  What to concoct with these ingredients??
I felt like caramalised onions for some reason or another - possibly because I had caught a chill the day prior before in the rock and roll weather that is Melbourne's Spring time.  So onions were on the cards to help ward off any unwanted malady.
I adore French onion tart and am still trying to track down the perfect recipe.  So instead of a Soupe à l'oignon (for which I had no patience to let brew), or an omelette, I opted for a tart.  Plus there's all that good extra protein in the eggs (cream & cheese?) and almond meal.
So, ta-dah!  A recipe for a scrumptious din dins.  This would be grand at lunch too, I think, or as a starter for guests at a dinner party.
Did I mention also that the almond meal gives that lovely slight crumbly texture to the pastry shell?  I do love a slightly mealy shortbread finish to a savoury tart crust.  Mmmm mmm.
OK, enough of my babbling ramble.  Here it is:

For the crust:
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup butter or ghee (chilled)
1 egg white
1/4 tsp salt

Equipment:
tart shell mould
some kind of egg-beater, food-processor, etc.

Oven pre-heated to 200 degrees C or 400 F.


Blend all of your pastry ingredients together until you have a dough that hold together relatively well.  You can always add more flour while you're handling it if it seems too sticky or, conversely, add a small splash of water if it's crumbling apart.
Have a greased tart case ready to roll and spread the dough evenly out so that you cover the base and sides.
Pop in the oven to blind bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden-brown all over.  Then turn the oven down to 170 degrees C for gas or 190 for fan.
While your pastry is transforming itself in the oven, start on with caramlising your onions as this can take a while but is well worth the love and devotion - well worth it.

For this I used:
50g butter
3 large onions, sliced in rings
4 Swisse brown mushrooms, sliced
200ml cream
2 eggs
120g cheese of your choosing (I used mainly gruyere, some pecorino and manchego!), grated
2 sprigs of thyme, chopped
couple pinches of chives, chopped



Gently heat your butter in a pan, and when it's all melted add your onions, stir to smother in butter and allow them to cook on a medium to low heat.  This will likely take at least 30 minutes with the occasional stir so keep an eye on them as they soften, then brown, and then taste for sweetness when they've seriously reduced in volume.  Towards the end of this process you can add the mushrooms and herbs and season with salt and pepper if you like.
With your onions on their way, you can busy yourself beating your eggs and combining them with the cream and grated cheese - never a dull moment in this cooking session!
If you are with enthusiastic sous chef, you can also delegate tasks such as salad building and/or table setting.
If you are without, then you can do so while your eagerly waiting for your tart to be fully cooked.
When your onions are sufficiently caramalised, your mushrooms dark and soft, and the herbs' aroma wafting through the kitchen, you can spoon it into the cream mixture, give it a stir and pour it all into the tart case.
Pop in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.  


Ready-to-pop-tart.


Bon appétit!


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