I’m not a good baker. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. Baking is too precise, with the measurements and temperatures and ingredients. My foolish experimentation has resulted in failure about half the time. I much prefer to cook and create my own recipes with various substitutions and additions. I find it super fun!
I also don’t have a huge sweet tooth. A piece of dark chocolate satisfies me rather than an extravagant cupcake. Not to say I haven’t had some successes , and even a few great ones. As they say, sometimes with great risk comes great reward. However, behind those baking triumphs lingers stressful memories, of wayward flecks of sugar-butter spinning uncontrollably about the kitchen, and nervous peeks into the oven every 5 minutes to check if the bread has risen, heart in mouth.
The beauty of this tart is that it was a result of another baking failure. Even though I made a successful batch of lemon curd just last week, this time I couldn’t get it to thicken (sadly a huge casualty of lemons and eggs). I was planning on bringing some cute lemon tart-lettes to a friend’s clothing swap, but this was just not meant to be!
Instead I saved the dough and the next day used it to make this cheese and onion tart.
It was a lovely plan B.
- 1.5 cups all purpose or pastry flour
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1/4 sugar
- 1 egg
1) mix flour and salt
2) in separate bowl, cream butter and sugar and slowly add egg
3) add flour to butter mixture and mix until ball is formed
4) on a floured surface, roll evenly and fit into a pie mould
Meanwhile, do this:
Over high heat, caramelize about 5 to 6 thinly sliced onions in oil or butter. Mix so the onions don’t burn, but not too frequently otherwise they won’t brown! Add pinch of salt and one teaspoon of sugar. Once browned, add drizzle of balsamic to cut the sweetness and mix. This should take approximately 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pre heat oven to 325.
Add grated cheddar evenly over cooled tart crust and then top with onions and fresh thyme. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crust is browned at the edges and top with more fresh thyme and a sprinkle of salt.
Note: this crust has a sweet, shortbread like consistency. If you’d prefer to use a different pastry recipe, please do!
The cheddar and thyme were a great combination with the onions, but Gorgonzola or chèvre would also be lovely. Maybe even some pear or sautéed mushrooms. The options are endless really.
Serve in small slices. Great for a holiday party!
Tell me: are you a cooker or a baker, or
a candlestick maker both?