For this bacon and goat cheese tart, the edges of the tart crust are folded around sweet caramelized onions, smoky bacon, and rich goat cheese for a rustic, but still elegant, appetizer.
The cornmeal in the crust adds a nutty crunch and complements the smoky, salty bacon and fresh goat cheese. The tart makes a perfect light lunch or supper, with a green salad.–Melissa Pasanen
WHAT IS THE BEST PAN FOR CARAMELIZING ONIONS?
If you’ve never caramelized onions before, you might have some trepidation and think that using a non-stick skillet will safeguard all that work. And it will–caramelized onions take a lot of time, patience, and stirring. So much stirring.
But here’s the thing about caramelized onions…you want a little bit to stick to the pan. Cast-iron or stainless pans will help you to develop fond, the thing that gives your onions that depth and color that makes them what they are. The little bits that stick to the pan (the fond) won’t develop in non-stick. You’ll still get a close approximation but trust us, you’ll want the flavor that will only occur with cast-iron or stainless.
Bacon and Goat Cheese Tart
For this bacon and goat cheese tart, the edges of the tart crust are folded around sweet caramelized onions, smoky bacon, and rich goat cheese.
For the crust
For the filling
Make the crust
Cut the butter into small cubes and freeze for at least 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, blend the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add the cream cheese and process for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until no butter is larger than the size of a pea. Add the ice water and process for about 30 seconds, or until a pinch of the dough holds together. If it doesn’t, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead just until it holds together in one piece. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. (If you chill it much longer, give it time to warm up a little before rolling it out.)
Make the filling
While the dough is chilling, cook the bacon in a sauté pan or skillet until it is about halfway cooked. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel and set it aside.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Put the pan with the remaining bacon fat back over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then the sliced onions and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the onions slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are deep golden brown and caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the second-lowest position. On a nonstick baking mat or piece of parchment paper, roll the chilled dough into a rough circle about 1/8 inch thick and 14 to 16 inches in diameter. (The edges don’t have to be smooth and neat.) Lift the baking mat with the crust onto a cookie sheet.
Spread the caramelized onions over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Coarsely chop the bacon and sprinkle it evenly over the onions, followed by the thyme leaves, and finally the goat cheese. Fold the edges of the crust over the filling, pleating the edges as necessary. Brush the crust with milk.
Bake the tart for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Bacon and Goat Cheese Tart Variation
The onion and bacon base also works well with cooked diced beets, raw diced apple, or blue cheese. Or substitute diced ham for the bacon and add lightly steamed or microwaved cubes of butternut squash or pumpkin, and goat cheese. Skip the bacon for a vegetarian tart.
Serving: 1servingCalories: 702kcal (35%)Carbohydrates: 60g (20%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 45g (69%)Saturated Fat: 26g (163%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 106mg (35%)Sodium: 854mg (37%)Potassium: 476mg (14%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 11g (12%)Vitamin A: 1451IU (29%)Vitamin C: 17mg (21%)Calcium: 148mg (15%)Iron: 4mg (22%)
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Originally published July 18, 2007