Perfect Party Treat - Caramelized onion, Mushroom & tomato tart

3:30 PM


So many people we meet in life, remain jut strangers due to their false images of aloofness and attitude. Only much later when we cross paths again, we realize what a fallacy that had been. Their simplicity and shyness was well guarded behind their tough exterior. Similarly so  many experiences in life remain 'unlived', due to their sheer imagery of toughness. Sometimes we are lucky to demystify and learn the truth but most of the other times, it remains just that - a perception. 

And just like a truth remains a truth in all situations, this theory applies in kitchen too. At least I have been victim of many such false notions. Thankfully many such baseless perceptions are being negated to become a simpler fare. Now enough of jargon and let me share my experience of exploring and achieving the flakiest, tastiest savory tart, something which was an unattainable target till some time ago.





















I had been making pizza from scratch for a while now and I just knew that it was time to move to the much flaky savory tart, that I had been eyeing for quite some time. So when last week, I invited a few female friends of mine for lunch, I knew I could experiment to my heart's content. Out of the three girls, on is already a food blogger and second is about to start hers and third is also experimental in kitchen. So perfect guests for a food blogger, to try it out. And I did try with a menu of - marbled cake, tomato tart, spinach lasagna, fruit salad with toasted coconut and berry parfait. Yum!! And to my surprise the most dreaded was the most loved dish of the day. So had to share this recipe with you all.


Tomato Tart with caramelized onions & mushroom recipe:

Basic Tart Recipe 
From Martha Stewart's Baking Bible
Makes 2 single crust 10 inch tart or 1 double crust pie

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, chilled
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 stick/ 1 cup unsalted butter, cut in cubes and chilled
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water/ chilled water

Method:


  • Whisk together flour, salt & sugar in medium bowl. Put it In the bowl of a food processor along with butter cubes and process until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, 8 to 10 seconds, with few larger pieces of butter remaining, since that would help tart to fluff
  • Add 1/4 cup (or even lesser) ice water. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 2 hours or overnight ( I did overnight)
  • When preparing tart, bring the dough out of the fridge, and let it rest in temp or 5 mins to make it easier to roll. Meanwhile dust the tart dish and place it in the fridge to chill.
  • Now place the dough disc in between two sheets of plastic wrap on a dusted work surface. Now roll it out in a circle of about 12 inches diameter (if using 10 inch dish)
  • You can roll the dough over the rolling pin and flip it on the tart dish or you can remove the top plastic sheet and holding the bottom sheet, flip the rolled dough on the dusted dish. Press it into the corners. 
  • Place it back into the fridge to chill for at lest 30 mins.

Making the tart


Ingredients:
  • Tomato - 2-3 large, cut in thick discs (Thinner ones will wilt)
  • Onion - 3 medium 
  • Button Mushroom - 1/3 cup, sliced
  • Garlic cloves - 5-6, minced
  • Oregano - 1 tsp
  • Dried Herbs - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt & Pepper - as per taste
  • Olive Oil - 2-3 tbsp
  • Grated Cheese - 1/2 cup (Cheddar or Mozarella)
  • Chilly Flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Thyme or fresh herb of your choice for topping
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  2. Saute garlic in 1 tbsp oil in a pan, till lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. Add 1 more tbsp of oil in the pan and lace thinly sliced onions in the pan on medium high heat with a pinch of sugar. ensure there's enough space in the pan for all the onion slices to get even heat
  4. Let the onions turn light brown and release sweet aroma. Then add the mushroom & salt & pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes till mushroom gets cooked
  5. Spread this mixture along with garlic cloves on the chilled pie. Cover it with cheese.
  6. Sprinkle oregano, chilly flakes and dried herbs
  7. Place the tomato discs in a circular pattern to cover the pie. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper
  8. Just add 1-2 tbsp of grated cheese and fresh herbs on top to dress it up. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil on top.
  9. Bake for about 40-45 mins. Transfer on a wire rack to let it cool slightly before serving warm with a nice drink on the side

Notes:
  • In such recipes, after cutting the butter in cubes, chill it agin in fridge, since time taken in cutting softens it
  • Temperature is of critical importance when making a pie or tart. Ensure everything is chilled - butter, bowls and even the room. Avoid doing it in sunny afternoons.
  • Try to handle the dough as less with hands as possible
  • Make your own mixture of filling, to suit your tastebuds. Everything ill taste great with this flaky base
  • Caramelization is the process when the sugar gets heated to about 300F to turn brown & become nutty in flavour.
  • You can store the dough in fridge for at least a fortnight and in the freezer for at least a month
  • It's perfect for parties, since you can bake in advance and warm it up before serving.
Sending it as my entry to Baked Only event, started by Pari


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