Caramelized Onion Tart With Poppy Seeds, Bacon And Dates
makes 6 tarts
Inspired by Alsatian flammekuchen, this dish includes dates and poppy seeds for Turkish flair.
Read more about this recipe in Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean.
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
6 regular slices smoked bacon or 3 thick-cut slices
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white wine
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 to 3 sprigs thyme
Flour for dusting
1/2 cup crème fraîche
3 dates, split in half and pits removed
prep: 1 hour 10 minutes
total: 1 hour 35 minutes, plus at least 3 hours to chill dough
1. In the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, cornmeal, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and butter.
2. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, mix the ingredients on low speed until the butter breaks down into pea-sized pieces. Pour in the buttermilk and mix again until it is just combined. The dough will come together quickly and will be a little wet.
3. Divide the dough in two, wrap the dough in plastic, pressing it into a flat rectangle about 1 inch thick. Chill the dough for 3 hours or overnight.
4. In a large 12-inch skillet, render the bacon over medium-low heat until crispy, cooking for about 5 minutes on each side. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside. Pour the bacon fat into a heatproof container to discard later, after it cools completely.
5. Wipe the skillet, leaving some bacon fat behind.
6. Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat, cooking until butter begins to brown.
7. Add the onions and increase heat to high. Cook, shaking the pan from time to time, for about 7 minutes, until the onions become limp and translucent.
8. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the onions while stirring, about 15 minutes, until they are soft and are just beginning to brown. Stir in the wine and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the poppy seeds, crème fraîche and thyme and set aside to cool.
9. Preheat oven to 350F.
10. Roll out 1/2 of the dough. Reserve the rest for another use. Dust with plenty of flour.
11. Keep rolling and dusting with just enough flour so the dough doesn't stick to the board or the pan, until the dough is 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick.
12. Using a small glass bowl or round cutter with a 4- to 5-inch diameter, cut out 6 rounds. Reserve the scraps.
13. Top each round of pastry with 2 tablespoons of the onion mixture, leaving 1 inch around the edge of pastry.
14. Cut each bacon strip into 4 pieces and tuck 4 pieces of bacon into each pile of onions.
15. Cut each date half in 2 and tuck 2 pieces into each pile of onion.
16. Fold the edges of pastry up over the onions in a free-form overlapping fashion. Each tart should be open in the center and 1/3 covered with the overlapping dough.
17. Place the tarts on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with a glass of Alsatian Riesling.