It’s the season of celebrations, which means it’s also the season of meals shared with family and friends. So for the next big event (hello, 2013!), we’d like to suggest you give our French onion tart a try: perfect for a New Year’s brunch, this tart (imagine a sophisticated quiche) pairs well with a fresh green salad, a glass of Prosecco to welcome the New Year, and good friends. The dough for the crust will also stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days, which means you can plan ahead if you’re looking to simplify things the day after the big party.
In a food processor, whirl the flour and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add ice water (1/4 cup) and vinegar gradually, and pulse after each addition until the dough begins to come together. Gather the dough into a ball and form into a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes (or up to 3 days).
Cut up the onion and shallots (if you’re like us, keep some tissues nearby for the tears!). Add oil to a large, non-stick frying pan (medium heat) and then add the onions and shallots. Cook for 5 minutes, without stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the salt and sugar, plus the pepper. Cook until the onions turn deep brown, 6-12 more minutes, stirring often. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the cream and milk until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Set an 11” fluted tart pan on a baking sheet and cut a foot-long piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s a 13” circle, about ¼” thick. Carefully lift dough into the pan and press it into the fluted edge. Prick the dough about 15 times with a fork, and trim the excess from the edge. Lay the parchment on the shell, filling it with pie weights or 2 cups of dry beans (these can be reused).
Bake the crust for 15 minutes and then cover with foil. Put back in oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the crust is just golden. Transfer the pan to a rack, then lift out the bean-filled parchment and reduce heat to 350°F.
Sprinkle half of the gruyère cheese over the warm crust, and then the browned onions. Add the whisked egg mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Top with fresh thyme. Bake in centre of oven until top is firm, about 20-25 minutes. Let the tart rest on a rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Try this recipe: French onion tart