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Dinner Party Appetizer: Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

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Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

I love throwing dinner parties — it’s so fun to have friends over and cook for more than just me and my hubby, especially since he’s kind of picky (love you honey!)  Plus, it allows me to try making some new things.  So for our first appetizer option, I bring you a tart.  Everything is better with bacon, and this honey-caramelized onion tart is no exception to that rule.  A little sweet, crunchy, and savory — this onion tart is pretty and impressive-looking.  But it’s really easy.  Perfect for a dinner party.  The thing that takes the longest?  Caramelizing the onions.  Which you CAN do the night before, and just store in an airtight container overnight.

{Slightly adapted from Full Fork Ahead}

Ingredients

1 sheet sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
8 center-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (or 6 regular bacon slices)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
4 medium white onions (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3/4 cup Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Savory Garlic flavor
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided

1. Carefully unfold your thawed puff pastry.  Dust your rolling pin and work surface lightly with flour, and roll pastry to about 14×10-inch rectangle. Fold 1/2 inch of pastry edges in toward center on all sides, forming 13×9-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry to large rimmed baking sheet. Press firmly on pastry edges with fork to form rim. Chill crust in the fridge while you continue to the next steps.

Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

2. Fry bacon pieces in small skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes or so. Transfer to a plate covered in paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from the skillet.

Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

3. In a large bowl, whisk honey, wine, and 1 tablespoon bacon drippings until combined. Add onion slices; toss to coat.

4. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion mixture and let it come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the liquid has started to reduce (about 8-10 minutes), scoop about 1/4 cup of the liquid. To do this, I just tilted the pot and spooned it out into a 1/4 measuring cup until it was full.

 5. Continue stirring the onions occasionally until the rest of the liquid evaporates, about six minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally to allow for even browning, for about 35 minutes. When the onions have turned a deep golden color, they’re done. Take the pot off heat to allow onions to cool slightly.  

Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

6.  When you have about 15 minutes left on the onions, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

7.  Mix cooking creme, 1 teaspoon of the fresh thyme*, sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg in small bowl. Pour or scoop the creme mixture over the crust until you reach the edge of the crust, using the back of a spoon to spread evenly.

*Tip: To get the fresh thyme off of the stems, hold the top of the stem in one hand, and gently but firmly slide the thumb and pointer finger (like your pinching it) of your other hand down the stem to the bottom over a bowl.

Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

8. Arrange onions on top of the creme and then sprinkle with cooked bacon. Bake tart until crust is light golden brown and topping is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining fresh thyme and serve.

Honey-Caramelized Onion Tart

Notes:

The original recipe called for sweet yellow onions.  I did a little research and found that sweet onions can become bland when caramelized, so I used white.  I haven’t tried caramelizing sweet yellows so who knows.  You can really use any kind you like.

I thought about adding some feta cheese on top of the creme, but didn’t — only because the majority of my family doesn’t like it and they were my taste-testers.  So think about doing it, and then let me know how it turns out!  I think it would add a really nice tangy-ness.

I ate some leftover tart cold, straight from the fridge.  And I gotta say, I didn’t hate it.  If you end up eating leftover tart and want it warm, I would recommend heating it back up in the oven so it doesn’t get soggy.

You will have about 1/4 cup leftover Cooking Creme (you can also use sour cream or creme fraiche if you like, though it won’t add the garlicky flavor).  Some suggestions for using up the leftovers:

  • Mix it in to a small batch of mashed potatoes
  • Use it as a dipping sauce for spicy chicken wings
  • Mix it in to eggs before scrambling for a kicked up breakfast

Honey-Caramelized Onion TartLater this week, Rae will post another delicious option for your dinner party appetizer!

What is your go-to appetizer when having friends or family over?

xo Jaime

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