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Author Notes: I've been losing my touch a bit lately in the kitchen, so I went with something simple this week. Onion, fresh apples, and brie ... it doesn't get simpler than that. —Fresh Beats, Fresh Eats
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups AP flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 red apples (peeled & sliced thin) (pink lady is a good choice)
- 2 red onions (sliced thin)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider
- pinch salt
- 3/4 cup brie
- We’re gonna do the dough first. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt in a big bowl.
- Cut the stick of butter into roughly ¼’’ cubes and mix it in with a pastry cutter. You want to end up with pieces the size of small pebbles, so don’t mix it up too much.
- Whisk together the egg yolk, water, and vanilla, and add it all to the butter/flour mixture with a fork. If it starts to give you a little resistance and clump up, you’re good.
- Put some flour on a big cutting board or other flat thing, and dump the dough on top of it.
- Roll the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Put more flour on your cutting board and more flour on a rolling pin. Just throw the whole damn bag of flour at your kitchen Rip Taylor-style; you’re gonna want a lot of it.
- Roll the dough to about ¼’’ thick, then cut it into rounds and press it into whatever fancy-ass tiny tart molds you got. And make sure to spray them with non-stick if they’re metal.
- Put the little tartlets on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until they start to get a little golden brown and toasty. Let them rest on a baking sheet for 5 minutes after they come out. You know the drill.
- Now’s a good time to start on the filling.
- Mix together the brown sugar and water in a big, wide pan over low heat. Let them get comfortable for a while, until they’re simmering and starting to caramelize and turn a little darker.
- Slowly add in the vinegar, followed by the cider, and let them simmer and reduce for a bit, about 10 minutes.
- You’re gonna do two different things here: get a smaller pan and pour a little of the gastrique you just made (yes, that’s what it’s called) in, just enough to cover the bottom.
- Put the onions and a pinch of salt in, stir, and let them caramelize while you keep stirring. It should take about 15 minutes.
- At the same time, put the apples in the bigger pot (remember, that’s gonna be full of most of the gastrique) and poach ‘em for about 5 minutes, until they’re limp but not mushy or falling apart. Basically, just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t start turning gross.
- Once the tartlets, mini-tarts, tartinis, whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-ems are cool, put some of the onions in each and layer the sliced apples on top, followed by about a tablespoon of brie per tart.
- Set your oven to 350 and put the tarts in again, just until the brie melts. Shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Tart