caramelized onion tart

Every time I have caramelized onions, I wonder why caramelization isn’t obligatory for all onions. It is just magical how onions can transform from sharp and pungent to sweet and magnificent with just a little heat and a little patience. This tart is lovely because it lets the onions shine. If you can crank out a decent pie crust, all the better. Flaky dough + creamy onions = heaven.


You could also consider this tart a perfect opportunity to eat bacon. I’d cook the bacon first, drain off some of the fat from the pan, add a tablespoon of butter and then saute the onions in the bacon fat and butter combo. Chop up the bacon in to bits and then combine them with the onion custard before you pour it into the tart shell.

We had this tart for dinner with a salad and roasted veggies. It would also go nicely with soup or roast chicken. I had it for lunch the next day and can attest that it reheats like a dream—in the unlikely event that you have leftovers.

Simple Caramelized Onion Tart, adapted from Orangette
1/2 recipe for flaky pie dough
3 tablespoons butter
2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg
pinch of nutmeg

Flaky Pie Crust 
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
about 5 tablespoons ice water

Make the pie crust the night before. In a food processor, combine flour and salt. Remove the butter from the fridge and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add them to the flour mixture. Process until the butter chunks are about the size of peas. Add the water and pulse a few times to combine. Divide into two equal balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


In a heavy-bottomed pan over medium low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the onions. Caramelize the onions stirring occasionally. Depending on your stove, this will take somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 minutes.


While your onions are caramelizing, roll out the pie dough. Put it in a 9-inch tart pan and trim off the excess. My favorite Julia Child trick for getting perfect edges on a tart is to drape the excess dough over the edges of the pan and then roll the rolling pin on top of the dough over the edges of pan. The sharp edges of the pan will cut through the dough and you can easily pull away the excess. Put the tart shell in the fridge until your onions are done caramelizing.

Whisk together the egg, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.


After the onions are a medium brown, remove them from the heat. Mix them with the egg mixture and pour into the tart pan. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, until the top of the tart is golden brown. Unmold the tart and serve hot or let cool to room temperature and serve.




quick baked mac and cheese with caramelized onions

So I had this whole vision of baking little lasagnas in these baby pumpkins that I bought at the farmers market. I’d invited friends over for the experiment and was very excited to bump the cute factor of my cooking up by about a million. And then my rational, forward thinking boyfriend mentioned that the adorable pumpkins that I had purchased might not actually be for eating. The doubt began to set in. I tested the pumpkin by cooking a small slice and it was indeed edible, just not that good. I was very sad. My dreams of festive cuteness were crushed.

I think Jordan may have felt a little bad and so he dug up these mini baking dishes that his mom had given us as a housewarming gift and suggested a baked macaroni and cheese instead. It was good advice. I simplified a traditional baked macaroni nixing the béchamel in favor of ricotta and a little pasta water. I added some caramelized onions, topped with gruyere and then threw it under the broiler. Quick, easy and still adorable!

Baked Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions
For the caramelized onions
1 onion, sliced
1 T butter
1 T oil

Saute onions over low heat for 30 – 45 minutes stirring occasionally, until deep brown in color.

For the pasta
3/4 lb dried pasta
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup gruyere, grated
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt, pepper

Start sautéing the onion. Put a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta. Combine pasta, ricotta, parmesan and pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. In a baking dish, spread the caramelized onions into a thin layer on the bottom. Spoon in cheesy pasta. Top with gruyere and breadcrumbs. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!