Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart (serves 6-8)

The same day we took the photos for American Gothic Orchard, I made a savory snack for us to munch on during the shoot.

This is a great way to use up dough scraps from other adventures, but for the flakiest tart, use a fresh block of dough.

Rustic tart and apples

1/2 batch flaky pastry dough

1 large onion
splash of oil or butter
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
a small handful of a salty cheese; Gruyere or a blue work quite well
1 apple

Halve and peel the onion, then cut it into thin slices. Use a splash of oil or butter and saute the onion slices on medium low heat until quite caramelized, thirty minutes or so. If you see the edges of the onion blackening before they’ve taken on much overall color, turn the heat down. When the onions have a rich caramel color, stir in the balsamic and shut off the heat. Season with salt and pepper and cool to room temperature. You can facilitate this process by transferring the onions to a plate and spreading them out to cool.

While the onions cool, roll the dough to about a 1/4” thickness in the shape of your choice. I clearly went for a rectangle but, you know, just a serving suggestion. It’s a rustic sort of tart, so don’t worry about trimming the edges or making sure the shape is too precise. Roll with what you’ve got. A-ha-ha. Transfer the dough to an ungreased sheet pan.

Refrigerate the rolled dough, no need to wrap, at least 15 minutes to give the gluten ample time to relax so it won’t shrink. Definitely chill the dough until the onions have cooled. Seriously. Putting hot or even warm onions on something made of butter can only lead to disaster. Wait.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

When the onions have cooled, scatter them over the tart. Next, slice a whole apple as thinly as you can manage. You don’t need a mandolin or anything (but I’m jealous if you’ve got one!), just take your time and you’ll be able to get some pretty seriously thin slices. No need to core the apples, just slice straight through. You can easily pick the seeds out of the slices and keep the pretty starburst shape intact.

Arrange as many or few apple slices on the tart as you like; I just did six, but don’t hesitate to do more if you want! Now sprinkle whatever cheese you’re using over the tart.

Listen: this isn’t a pizza. It’s not even a flat quiche. Easy on the cheese, okay? You’re just wanting to add a few salty bites, the tart dough is incredibly rich and buttery, and big gobs of cheese will really make this a greasy, inelegant snack.

At any rate, bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Check on the tart from time to time, if you notice any out of control air bubbles, pull the tart partway out of the oven and poke the bubble with a toothpick or a knife to release the steam. Put it back in the oven and carry on.

Cool the tart for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving. The tart will remain wonderfully flakey even at room temperature several hours later, so I love making this for company because I can knock it out ahead of time. Enjoy!

apple and onion tart


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Any questions?

Mar 09, 2012 ·  7:13 PM

What temp for the oven??

 · Lily · 

Mar 09, 2012 ·  8:17 PM

@Lily, ah! Sharp eyes, thanks for pointing out the omission. 375°.


Oct 25, 2012 · 12:01 AM

Any particular type of onion you prefer? I was thinking Vidalia since it tends to be sweeter but wanted to ask you first.

 · Cristi · 

Oct 25, 2012 ·  6:44 PM

Hi Cristi. Vidalia would work just fine, I tend to use yellow or red onions when I cook, so that’s what I’ve always got on hand and those turn out nicely too. It just depends on what you like to eat.


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