Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caramelized onions, mushroom and thyme tart

I can see the surprised looks -- another tart/quiche? Yes! I'm sorry! Alas, this has not been a week of creative dinners. Instead, I have been taking photos of this beautiful October light. I cannot get enough of it. Every time I go outside, I want to grab my camera and point, point everywhere and capture the golden touch on leaves, on flowers, on cheekbones and in mirrors. I've put some of my favorites on Color Moods, so I hope you will visit me there as well. Meanwhile, if you like caramelized onions and mushrooms (and if you don't, you and I need to sit down for a tiny chat), this quiche is a winner with a capital W, I promise. I didn't think it was possible, but I think I like this combination even better than leeks and Swiss chard. The onions are caramelized in white wine and herbes de Provence, and this, for me, perfectly captures the delicate, golden taste of fall.

Caramelized onions, mushroom and thyme tart

For the crust:
(recipe from the Tartine cookbook)
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 T very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup iced water
1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:
4 eggs
1 cup milk (I even used low-fat *shock* *horror*)
6 oz mushrooms, sliced (any kind)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
1 tsp herbes de Provence
2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

The night before - make the crust. When making a flaky crust, remember that cold is your best friend. Chill everything whenever possible. In a small cup, mix salt and water, put in the refrigerator until ready to use. Put the flour in a large bowl and scatter pieces of butter on top of it. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour quickly until the biggest pieces are no larger than a pea. Put the whole thing in the freezer for 5 min. Slowly, add the salt water mixture, mixing with a fork just until the dough comes together. Turn it out onto a flowered work surface and pinch the dough together. You should still see pieces of butter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Take out the dough and let it sit on the counter for 5 min or so, or until it's pliable. Butter or spray your tart/quiche/pie pan. Roll out the dough to a desired size and place in the pan. Do not stretch dough, but press it gently into place. Trim the edges to be even with the edge of the pan. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F. Put a buttered piece of foil (shiny side down) into the tart pan and bake for 20 minutes. Take out the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and fully baked. After the crust is done, cool on the counter.

While the crust is baking, saute the onions with a little butter or olive oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine and sprinkle with salt and herbes de Provence. Turn the heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until the liquid evaporates. This isn't the traditional method of caramelizing onions, but I wanted a milder flavor for this tart. After the onions are done, spread them inside the crust. In the same pan, saute sliced mushrooms and thyme for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms are very soft. Spread the mushrooms on top of the onions.

Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Bake on 375F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F and bake until the filling is set, about another 30 minutes, rotating once about half way through the baking time. I like this tart warm or hot, and I can imagine a dollop of crème fraîche could be a very good thing.


Patsyk said...

Your tart looks mouthwatering!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love tart/quiche etc. So continue to share the great recipes & pictures with us.

Eileen said...

You can make a savory tart anytime, as far as I'm concerned. I love them!

Vera said...

I'm ready to eat the tarts/ quiches like yours, Irene, every day! It looks so delicious!

Sunshinemom said...

I just made a tarte tatin using Helen's recipe. Some of the puff pastry is still left. This filling inspires images and thoughts!!

Anonymous said...

Holy moly, this looks amaaazing!