Onion and Sage Barquettes
These tartlets are very unique and quite tasty. When onions are caramelized, they become very sweet and are the perfect accompaniment to the salty olives, fresh sage and Parmesan cheese. I love the shape of these small barquette molds which are basically boat-shaped tartlet pans.
Sage is a very strong tasting herb and can be over-powering if used incorrectly. Taste a small piece of a fresh sage leaf and you are instantly transported to either a Thanksgiving table (think Turkey stuffing) or to a traditional Italian feast with Saltimbocca.
Give the barquette molds a light coating of vegetable spray to prevent the pastry shells from sticking to the molds. To maintain their shape and to ensure that the pastry is cooked through, the raw shells are “blind baked” which basically means that they are pre-cooked before any filling is added. The dry beans and parchment paper help them to maintain their shape and prevent them from blistering up while baking.
Barquette Molds are “boat shaped” tartlet pans and create a nice sized Hors d’Oeuvres or small pastry. This set of 12 from Amazon is quite inexpensive and is a great addition to any kitchen. I use them for savory and sweet tartlets.
Oil Cured Black Olives have a very unique flavor profile. They are cured with salt and olive oil and are oily, earthy and a little bitter, kind of an acquired taste. I like to use them in small quantities and for a garnish. Some brands tend to be very salty, but I find the Cento brand to be about right. Oil cured olives can be hard to find in supermarkets, so look in the “Italian Specialty” food aisle or just buy them online.
Onion and Sage BarquettesCourse: Hors d’OeuvresCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
Barquettes are small “boat shaped” tartlets.
1 batch Pastry dough (recipe below)
1 pound yellow onions (3 medium-sized onions), sliced
2 slices thick bacon, finely diced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and cut in quarters
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Pastry Dough
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) chilled, unsalted butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup cold water
- Lay the Barquette molds out on a baking sheet and lightly coat with vegetable cooking spray. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on the counter, to 1/8-inch thickness, using flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking. Dust off excess flour and cut into 2 by 6-inch rectangles. Lay the dough over the Barquette mold and press into the mold. Trim excess dough. Continue with the remaining shells.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the shells with a small rectangle of parchment paper (just to cover), and fill the paper and shells with pie weights or raw beans to prevent the tart shells from swelling. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and empty out the pie weights/beans and parchment paper. Return the shells to the oven to bake for 5 more minutes.
- Peel the onions and cut them in half from root to tip. Cut out the dense core at the root end and slice the onions 1/4 inch thick, again from root end to tip. In a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until almost crisp, stirring often. Add the onions, sugar, and salt, and cook, stirring often until they cook down by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vinegar, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the onions are an even golden brown and softened to a marmalade consistency, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the onions. Stir often and scrape up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Near the end, the onions need to be stirred constantly to prevent them from sticking and burning.
- Stir in the sage and kalamata olives and allow them to cool slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning with black pepper and kosher salt if needed.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees if not still on from Step 2.
- Stir the cream, egg and Parmesan into the caramelized onions until thoroughly combined. Divide the filling among the tart shells and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Bake in the upper third of the oven until the filling is set, about 15 minutes. The filling should still be soft but not runny. Let cool slightly and serve.
- Pastry Dough
- In a mixer, combine the flour and salt. Cut the butter into fine cubes and mix into the flour until it resembles a fine meal. Add the shortening and mix for 30 seconds. Add the water and mix only until it combines. Do not overwork. Remove from the mixer and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.