HHDD #15: Tartes Tatins of Caramelized Red Onion and Goat’s Cheese

For every round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day!, I have tried to stick, not only to the theme, but also to the whole DonnaHayness of it all. Not that you have to. Technically, you can use either the recipe posted by the host, and tweak and twiddle to your liking, or you can go with your own recipe (from wherever you want) that still is within the theme. But no, like the mad DonnaFan that I am I always have pretty much stuck with her recipes.

But not this round. Oi. It feels almost like a betrayal. I’m so sorry Donna! There is no logical reason why my eyes wandered. I know you have so many tart recipes for me to choose from (asparagus and ricotta tarts, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 29; a whole feature on light + crisp spring tarts, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 23 – fabulous!; a whole pies + tarts section in Modern Classic 1, eggplant and potato tarts, Entertaining, p. 95; goat’s cheese tarts, Instant Entertaining, p. 66; leek and ricotta tarts, Instant Entertaining, p. 94), and a number of them actually onion tarts (onion tart with sage, The New Cook, p.73; caramelized onion and anchovy tarts, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 34; onion, anchovy, and olive tarts, Modern Classic 1). And those are only savory tarts…don’t even get me started on all the sweet ones!

So why, oh why, did my attention turn to…Gordon Ramsay??? And no, it wasn’t his legendary charm, blazing sex appeal, and kindly manner.

It was his tartes tatins -- the allure of the “upside-down preparation” coupled with the undeniable sexiness of a French name.

Tartes Tatins of Caramelized Red Onion and Goat’s Cheese
(adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe in Delicious magazine, November 2006 issue)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 750 grams red onions
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 150 grams goat’s cheese
  • 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
  • A couple of thyme sprigs

- Slice the onions into thin half-moons.
- Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Cook slowly, stirring so onions do not burn, until they start to get soft and caramelized. Add balsamic vinegar and thyme sprigs (saving some for garnish) and stir until the vinegar has mellowed.
- Divide onions between the holes of a 12-hole muffin pan. Top each hole with goat’s cheese (saving some for garnish).
- Thaw puff pastry (in the package it says thaw for 5 minutes, in my hot kitchen it took less then a minute…so watch it!) and cut out discs that will fit snugly over the filling in the muffin pan.
- Place pastry discs in the muffin holes and press down firmly.
- Bake in a 200C oven for about 10 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden. Remove from oven and stand for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Top with remaining goat’s cheese and thyme leaves.

The balsamic vinegar was my addition and I used regular muffin pans while Gordon used mini ones. I also increased the recipe accordingly to fit the bigger size. This was my first time to use ready-made puff pastry and I was quite excited. I must have been a little too excited though because, as you can tell in the photo, it is tad pale and not the golden brown that I was hoping it would be. Criminy. Was that my karma for forgoing Donna for Gordon? I hope not! I’ll just cook it longer (or hotter) next time…and despite the paleness of the pastry the tarts were a success at the small dinner we had last night.

Don’t forget to check the round up of tart creations at Trinigourmet, where our lovely host Sarina is hosting this round of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day!

And Donna: you know I still love you best :)