Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bake 52: Week 22

This is my week to host!
Last time I hosted I didn't really introduce myself, so I'll start with that...
A couple of (maybe) unknown facts about me:
*I grew up in Price, Utah (thus how I know Amanda and became part of this group.  Actually she, Jenn Z. and I went to school together from kindergarten to graduation!)
*I now live in Eagle Mountain and am the proud mommy of four - two boys and two girls - in that order.
*My oldest is 8 and my youngest recently turned 1.  They keep me busy! They really love being my "test monkeys" for this baking group!
*I love to shoot guns and am working on getting my Concealed Carry Permit.
*Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) landed on my lap at a Jazz game once. Just sayin'...
*I love horror movies.
*I can never think of fun facts about myself when I am trying.
*I enjoy reading, cooking, crafts, shopping, photography, and spending time with my family.
*I have been married almost 11 years and my husband is an Illustrator.  Which is ironic, because I can't even draw stick figures.  I'm not kidding! Maybe I can't draw, but he can't bake...so... onto the recipe!
I chose to make the 
 I'm really hoping that this sounded good to someone besides me...I know it's a strange pick in a book full of delicious baked goods, but when I came across it I knew that I simply had to try.  And I'm glad I did! I really loved the combination of these flavors together!

Rustic Caramelized Onion Tarts with Blue Cheese and Walnuts:
The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book pgs. 422-423
Makes two 14 by 8-inch tarts
Serves 6-8
These tarts are not made in a tart pan; instead they're baked free-form for a rustic appearance.  Note that the parchment paper is a must for this recipe.  You can either make your own pizza dough, use store-bought dough, or buy some from your favorite local pizzeria.  You will need about 3 tablespoons of additional oil for brushing.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 pounds onions (about 4), halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pound pizza dough (see note above)*
1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled (4 ounces)
2 scallions, sliced thin
*I used the Basic Pizza Dough from the book - you can get the recipe on Betsy's Blog

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking stone on the rack, and heat the oven to 500 degrees.  Let the baking stone heat for at least 30 minutes (but no longer than an hour).

2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering.  Stir in the onions, brown sugar, and salt.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and have released their juices, about 10 minutes.  Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the onions are deeply browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
 Test Kitchen Tip:  Caramelizing Onions
The most important part of this tart is proper caramelization of the onions.  We had to take a good look at how best to caramelize them.  Most recipes subscribe to one of two methods - low and slow or fast and furious-yet neither works.  Low heat and slow cooking dries out the onions before they have a chance to darken, while cooking fast over high heat leaves the onions crunchy and burnt tasting. The solution? A combination of low and high heat.  We started the onions over medium-low heat so that they released their juices and softened and then increased the heat to medium-high until they become caramelized.  Also, a nonstick skillet works best for caramelizing-the slippery surface ensures that no caramelized bits are left in the pan.

 3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, divide it into 2 equal pieces, and cover with greased plastic wrap.  Working with one piece of dough at a time (keep the other piece covered), press and roll the dough into a 14 by 8-inch oval on a lightly floured counter.  Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper and reshape as needed.  Gently dimple the surface of the dough with your fingertips.

 4. Brush the dough liberally with additional oil and season with pepper.  Scatter half of the caramelized onions, walnuts, and blue cheese evenly over the tart, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.  Slide the parchment paper and tart onto a rimless (or inverted) baking sheet, then slide the tart (still on the parchment) onto the hot baking stone.
With the caramelized onions...
and the walnuts...
and the blue cheese
5. Bake until the tart is deep golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating it halfway through baking.  (Prepare the second tart while the first bakes.)  Remove the tart from the oven by sliding the parchment paper back onto the baking sheet.  Discard the parchment paper, slide the tart onto a cutting board, and sprinkle with the half of the scallions.  Let the stone reheat for 5 minutes before baking the second tart.  Serve warm.
Right out of the oven
and with the scallions, which are really green onions.  Who knew?
 Yum! I was the only one in my house that actually liked this...oh well, more for me!
Hope you all enjoyed it!


  1. Great pick. I have 4 kids too. Two boys and then two little girls. My oldest is 8 as well. My husband always says we have the perfect combination and order of kids. Too bad you don't live closer they could all play together.

  2. I was the only one in my household that enjoyed this tart as well. I think men are just as picky as kids. :)

  3. I agree, men are just as picky as kids! :) Oh well, I liked it and ate leftovers for breakfast. And sometimes I think it's good to make something I want and not worry about everyone else. Great pick, thanks for hosting this week! Your crust looks amazing! I thought you would have used a GF one but if he isn't going to like it anyway, why bother. And I had no idea he was an illustrator, that sounds like a cool job!

  4. Your tart looks so much more appetizing than mine. I think the green onions really make a big difference and that you can see the carmalized onions on your tart. Well done!

  5. I am sorry I missed your week to host! The tart looks beautiful- so gourmet. I also loved reading a little bit more about you! I wish I hadn't been such a sleep deprived zombie the day you came over, maybe I would have found more of that out for myself! :)