We’re expecting another little one in the family….and before you jump to conclusions, no it’s not me! This weekend we threw my sister and her husband a little baby showerbaration. They are very laid-back and unfussy, so we wanted the party to feel the same way. At a Tom Douglas Kitchen, in downtown Seattle, simple and rustic was the theme for the soiree, and these tarts were the hit of the night.
An easy and elegant appetizer to keep guests satisfied until the main event, this recipe is just the thing. Simple, pretty and delicious, with caramelized onions, apples and aged white cheddar atop a delicate puff pastry… The guests lingered for hours and these tarts were great even at the end of the night. Easy to make, and elegant to display, serve these o’dourves at your next spring soiree and they are certain to delight!
Yield: Makes 32 tarts
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 lb. tart apples, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 oz. parmigiano reggiano cheese, coarsely grated
2 Tbs. minced fresh chives
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
1 package (1 lb.) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
2 oz. freshly shredded good quality white cheddar cheese
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and the 1 tsp. salt and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let the filling cool to room temperature.
Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and sugar and stir to coat the apples. Cook, stirring, until the apples are just starting to caramelize and have softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions and stir in the cheese, chives, thyme and the 1/8 tsp. pepper.
Cut the puff pastry into 2-inch squares and place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing the squares about 1 inch apart. Brush the pastry squares with some milk and place 1 tsp. white cheddar followed by a heaping 1 Tbs. filling in the center of each square. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the pastry is crisp underneath and golden brown on top, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Justine Kelly, The Slanted Door, San Francisco.