Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh my...Sweet Onion Tarts

I love parties where appetizer/hor d'oeuvres are served. There really is nothing better than standing around the kitchen (because everyone knows that the kitchen is where the party always ends up) in good company and having heavenly little bites of perfection.

There is nothing that really bugs me more than:
1) having that morsel of yumminess be super messy, and
2) trying to eat said appetizer in more than a couple of nibbles.

I mean, who really wants to stand there trying to have a conversation with sauce dribbling down their faces or hand, napkin held under the chin unceremoniously...and possibly wearing the sauce on your fabulous outfit!?

These little tarts also let me make use of a fantastic little tart tin I bought at Christmas time and hadn't gotten around to using. I had originally thought that it would be perfect vessel for making one-bite butter tarts...but who am I trying to kid? Those suckers wouldn't stand a chance in my house. My DH LOVES butter tarts...and chocolate chip cookies...and well, actually...I think he's secretly the cookie monster.

So, without further adieu... 

Sweet Onion Tarts
Makes 24 tartlets

1 cup flour
75g (2.5 oz) butter, chopped
1 tbsp bottled green peppercorns, drained and crushed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp olive paste
75g (2.5 oz) feta cheese, crumbled

1. Grease your tart pan.

2. Sift the flour and 1/4 tsp salt together. Add the butter. Rub together with fingertips until the mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs. Make well in center of mixture and add peppercorns, egg yolk, mustard and up to 2 tsp of water. Mix with a flat edged knife until it starts to come together. Turn out onto a floured surface and form mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 400F.

4. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface until it reaches a thickness of 2-3 mm. Cut rounds with 8 cm cutter. Place rounds in tart tin and prick with fork. (Or for a more rustic look, form 24 balls of dough and drop into the tin. Press dough along bottom and sides, then prick with fork)

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the pastry turns golden.

6. Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook, covered over low heat for approximately 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium then add sugar and balsamic vinegar, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated and the onion mixture becomes glossy. Stir in raisins.

7. Spread a little olive paste into the base of each of the pastry shells. Spoon the onion mixture into the shells and crumble the feta cheese over it. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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