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Alsatian Onion Tart

Courses: Starters and appetizers
Serves: 12 people

Recipe Ingredients

3 cups 187g / 6.6ozFlour
1/2 oz 14gYeast
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlSugar
3/4 cup 177mlLukewarm water
1/4 cup 59mlOlive oil
  Salt - to taste
2 tablespoons 30mlOlive oil
10   White onions
1 tablespoon 15mlCumin seeds
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
4   Eggs - lightly beaten (large)
1 3/4 cups 414mlHalf-and-half
2 teaspoons 10mlSweet paprika
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground white pepper - to taste
1/2 lb 227g / 8ozLean bacon - minced

Recipe Instructions

Pastry: Place flour in large, warmed bowl and make well in the center. Combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water in glass measuring cup and stir to slightly dissolve. Set aside to proof, about 10 minutes.

Stir remaining 1/4 cup warm water and olive oil into yeast mixture. Put yeast mixture into well in the center of flour and begin drawing flour into the center, blending until all liquid is absorbed. Add pinch of salt toward end of blending. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic about 10 minutes. Lightly oil large bowl and place dough in it. Turn dough to coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set it aside to rise in a very warm, moist place.

When dough has doubled in size and appears spongy and dimpled, punch it down, cover with a kitchen towel and start to make filling.

Filling: Peel onions, halve lengthwise and thinly slice. Heat large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add onions and saute covered for 7 to 8 minutes or until translucent. Stir in cumin seeds, salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool.

To assemble tart: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gently turn dough out onto a large floured surface and roll it into a 20- by 15-inch rectangle. Press dough firmly into bottom and sides of lightly oiled 18- by 13-inch baking sheet with 1-inch sides.

In large bowl, beat together eggs, half-and-half, paprika, salt and white pepper. Distribute onions evenly over base of crust. Gently pour in custard mixture. Scatter bacon evenly over top and bake in hot oven for 30 minutes, or until custard is set in center and bacon is crisp. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then slice into rectangles to serve as appetizers or into small squares to serve as hors d'oeuvres.

Tart should be served warm. If it has cooled, reheat in oven at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. It is traditional to let the bacon cook on top of tart. If you want to cook out some fat, fry it over low heat for a few minutes until lightly golden brown but not crisp. Drain on paper towels and proceed as directed.

Dietary Information:

Each serving: 326 calories, 239 mg sodium, 93 mg cholesterol, 21 grams fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 0.32 grams fiber

"The Los Angeles Times, 11-11-1998"


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