Travels in France – Warm Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Onions

Another favorite French recipe, this time from New York City!  You can find French cooking almost anywhere and everywhere!

From Balthazar
80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

Opened in 1997 by chef Keith McNally.  Since it opened it can be difficult to find a table, so we thought we would bring it to you.

Serve a slice of this delicious tart as an appetizer, or a larger slice along with a salad as a main course.

Pastry
1 3/4 cups (9 oz/280 g) flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 egg yokes, beaten
3-4 tablespoons cold water

Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
Leaves from 1 fresh thyme sprig, minced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces goat cheese at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
2 eggs
2/3 cup (5 fl oz/160ml) heavy cream

To make the pastry: In a medium bowl, stir the flour and salt together. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture is the texture of course crumbs.  Add the egg yolks and water and mix quickly with a fork.  Press the dough together with you fingers.  Pat the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30-minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  On a flat surface, roll the pastry dough out to a 12-inch (30-cm) circle.  Fit the pastry into a 10-inch (25-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.  Line with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Place on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 10 minutes, or until set.  Remove from the oven and remove the foil and weights.  Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork.  Return the shell to the oven and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, or intil lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).  To make the filling: In a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, thyme, and bay leaf for about 7-minutes, or until the onion is golden.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a blender or food processor combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, eggs, cream, salt and pepper to taste.  Process until perfectly smooth.

Spread the onion mixture evenly on the bottom of the tart shell and fill with cheese mixture.  bake in the perheated oven for 12-minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool slightly, or to room temperature.  Cut the tart into wedges and serve.

Make 8 servings.

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