"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Caramelized onion and goat cheese tart — another do-over? Naw.

by Julie Tilsner on July 21, 2010

in Minor Miracles, Dinner, Vegetarian

 I can be taught. All evidence thus far supports this theory. I learned how to tie my shoes. I learned how to drive a stick shift. I got into (and finished) graduate school. I haven’t killed my kids, (two different ones!) with gross ineptitude. Yet.

But this cooking thing. I dunno.

Because although Kitchen Goddess Julia came up with a great way to use my big ass onion — making a caramelized onion and goat cheese tart that everyone, even the kids, loved — I’ve realized that I could never recreate such a dish myself without adult supervision.

True, I made a pate brise for the crust by myself. Well, two, because the first time I forgot to use ice water, which made my pastry too warm and mushy, which altered the outcome and blah blah blah does any of this surprise you? The second attempt came out a little better. So the adequate tart crust, I made myself. And one day, when I have the space to roll out pastry dough and working rolling pin, my crusts might actually be decent.

I let Julia deal with making the actual tart. She adapted the basic cheese quiche from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything:

Basic Cheese Quiche

6 eggs at room temperature.

2 cups grated cheese (we just dropped in goat cheese from a log)

2 cups cream, half and half or milk, gently heated until warm

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp cayenne

preheat oven to 435. Prick the crust all over with a fork. line pie tin with pate brise and prick all over with a fork. Line this with tinfoil and weigh it down with pie weights (I use little rocks, myself, because that’s what I found in my junk drawers (thanks kids). Bake 12 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the weights and foil. Turn oven down to 325.

Combine eggs, cheese, liquid and seasonings and beat until well blended. Remember to add your onions.

Place the baked crust on a baking sheet. Pour the egg mixture into the crust, right to the top.

Julia remembered her tart having toasted poppy seeds on top. We didn’t have any poppy seeds, so we tried sesame seeds. The effect wasn’t as crunchy, but it did.

Carefully transfer to oven (on a baking sheet so you won’t have to clean cheese goop out of your oven later). Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture is set but still moist. (it should jiggle a bit in the middle) Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Onion.tart.full.pic.julie Even though Julia took a page from my playbook and went upstairs to check her email, thus burning the onions (“Julie! Didn”t you smell them?” Me: I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to burn them….”) the effects were most pleasing, and, as mentioned above, even the kids ate their slices, which constitutes great success in my book.

Could I do this myself? Probably not.

And in any case, I can’t imagine I’m gonna have a big-ass onion to work with a second time. Which is too bad, because practice makes perfect. Or in my case, maybe not.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jennifer July 24, 2010 at 8:24 pm

It’s a beauty! Good work for a bad cook 😉


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