While living in Paris, I was able to admire the French cooking genius for both sweet and savory items.
Sometimes it's hard to even tell which is which, given the amount of butter used in morning baked goods. Then there's the crêpe which you can fill with spinach, chicken or goat cheese, or enjoy with my favorite salted caramel, walnut avec banane.
Then there are the tarts. You can get a lovely tarte au sucre or opt for one filled with seasonal vegetables, cheese and perhaps a little bacon.
I'm shooting for the best of all worlds with a sweet and savory tart, combining sweet leeks and caramelized red onions. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, paired with a green salad or even a side of prosciutto and melon.
Sure you can buy a pre-made dough for a fast and easy meal, but if you're in the mood for getting your hands dirty, you can mix the dough yourself for a true pâte brisée, or even do a small short-cut by using a food processor.
Caramelized Onion and Leek Tart
Pâte Brisée Ingredients
- 1½ cups flour (170 grams)
- 8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- cold water
- Combine the flour and salt in a food processor.
- Gradually add the butter in short pulses. It should turn crumbly, like a coarse meal.
- Blend in the egg.
- Add water in small amounts, just until the dough combines.
- Roll into a ball, flatten, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. It can also be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to a month.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bring the dough to room temperature and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out and place in a greased 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. Press on the bottom and sides for a smooth surface, and trim and crimp the edges, allowing for some overhang to compensate for shrinkage during baking.
- Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork to reduce puffing while cooking. Place parchment paper on top and fill with pie weights or a mixture of rice and beans to further discourage rising while cooking. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until the crust begins to dry and lightly color. Remove the parchment and weights and cook another 10–15 minutes until golden.
- Remove and cool.
- 2 leeks
- 2 red onions
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces goat cheese, diced
- 1 cup cream
- 2 eggs
- olive oil
- sugar and balsamic vinegar (if desired)
- salt and pepper
- Slice the onions in half and then lengthwise.
- Coat the bottom of a heated pan with olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, and then add the sliced onions. Stir occasionally but not frequently to allow caramelization to occur. Add salt after about 10 minutes. A dash of sugar or swirl of balsamic vinegar will speed the caramelization process and add to the sweetness. If the onions start to dry out, add a little water. Keep over low heat for up to an hour, until the onions are a rich brown.
- While the onions cook, wash the leeks and cut off and discard the dark green leaves. Slice lengthwise and then across. Rinse again.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the leeks until soft, about 10 minutes.
- When both items have finished cooking, combine into one pan. Add diced goat cheese and blend. Pour the mix into the tart shell.
- In a bowl, whisk the cream, eggs and salt and pepper, and then pour the mixture over the onions and leeks.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes in the center of the oven, and then transfer to the top for another 10–15 minutes, until the mixture is set and browned and bubbly. Transfer the pan to a rack to let the tart rest and cool before serving.
- Click to see more French recipes at Girls' Guide to Paris.