First off, HAPPY PI DAY!!! I know that a tart is not a pie, but let's just say it's close enough! I mean it's got a pie crust and a filling. What more do you need?
I have had a tart pan for over a year and have been too chicken to use it. I asked for it in hopes that if I had one it would encourage me to make things that had a pie crust. Then maybe I would get better at making pie crust and not be afraid of it.
Aside from my crust phobia, I was really wanting to make a savory tart. The thing about savory tarts is that most of them do not contain meat. Meat is mandatory. That was proclaimed by Mrblocko. This particular tart, from Evil Shinanigans, is an onion apple and bacon tart.
There is a heated debate as to whether or not bacon is classified as a meat. I say since it came from a 4 legged animal it classifies as meat. Mrblocko says bacon is a side, not a meat. Where he got this absurd notion, I have no idea. I think perhaps it may be a faulty side effect of having a "Y" chromosome. Anyhow, I won this round of the meat/side dish debate and the onion, apple and bacon tart was approved for dinner fare.
I did make a few minor changes to the original recipe. First, I used half a package of bacon. The recipe calls for 3 slices of thick cut bacon. I knew that wasn't going to fly with the meat-a-saur husband. Three slices of bacon for a whole tart would definitely fall into the "side dish" and NOT the meat category.
Second I used 2 medium onions. This brought the onion measurement up to about 1 1/2 cups. The apple I used was also particularly large and wound up being about 1 1/2 cups as well.
How on earth did this all fit into the 9 inch tart pan the recipe calls for? Easy. My tart pan happens to be 11 inches. Something I didn't realize until after I was already mixing up the dough.
After I finished panicking about how I had ruined dinner, I decided to see if the dough could be spread out in my 11 inch tart pan. It did! Hooray! I didn't even have to fuss or fight with the dough hardly at all. Double hooray!
Along with my tart pan, I got some ceramic pie weights. I used those for the first time as well. The pie weights didn't work as well as I had hoped. I am positive that it was because there simply weren't enough of them. The pie weights were most likely designed to cover the area of a 8 or 9 inch pie plate, not 11 inches. Next time I think I will use pennies as weights. Then I can be sure I have sufficient surface coverage.
As a result of the lack in pie weights my crust shrank a bit before I added the filling as you can see below. Fortunately the crust shrinkage was not a problem. The filling didn't over flow or make the crust soggy. Everything turned out great. The tart was a big hit with Blockette and Mrblocko. The leftovers even tasted good cold. I am now ready for my next tart adventure, I just have to convince Mrblocko that a meatless tart is acceptable for dinner. Yeah, it could be a while before I make another tart, at least a savory one for dinner.
Onion, Apple and Bacon Tart from Evil Shenanigans Serves 6
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and kept very cold
3-4 tablespoons ice water
3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 cups sliced yellow onion
1 cups peeled and sliced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
Prepare the crust. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, sugar, and cheese. Add the diced butter and rub it into the flour to combine. Add three tablespoons of the ice water and mix to moisten. If it seems dry add the remaining water and mix.Turn the dough out and form a thin disk. Wrap with plastic and chill 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400F. Once chilled roll it out 1/4″ thick and press it into a 9″ tart pan and dock the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place in the freezer for ten minutes to set the butter then line with parchment or foil, add pie weights or beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the crust is lightly brown.
Allow to chill as you prepare the filling. In a heavy skillet cook the bacon, over medium heat, until crisp. Add the onions and apples and saute until they soften, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly. In a bowl whisk the eggs and milk together with the spices until well blended. In the tart shell spread the bacon, apple and onion mixture. Top with the shredded cheeses, then pour over the egg and milk mixture. Bake at 400F for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and golden. Cool for ten minutes before slicing and serving. It is also very tasty at room temperature.