As I mentioned in the last post, I have a great appreciation for "fiddly" food. To me this means a purposeful dish that is visually appealing, elegantly presented, intensely flavored, usually very small and often time intensive to prepare.
The cipollini onions in this week's box were the perfect opportunity to fiddle. A quick Google on "onion tatin" landed me at the Really Nice Recipes web site and, not surprisingly, a really nice recipe to use as a base.
My variations were few, though would make a few more on the next pass. This recipe is definitely a keeper and would make a great first course, a sweet accompaniment to a cheese plate, or an elegant and unique autumn dessert.
Individual Cipollini Onion Tartes Tatin
Serves 6 as a first course
6 cipollini onions, about 3" diameter
1 ounce sugar, ultra fine
1/2t fresh thyme or 1t dried (fresh strongly recommended over dried)
1 sheet puff pastry
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and pull puff pastry sheet from freezer to thaw. Next, clean and halve onions, set aside. Cut the parchment into squares, roughly 4" by 4", and arrange on a baking sheet.
Combine sugar, thyme and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until a light caramel has formed; should be the color of honey. Place a small amount of the caramel on each piece of parchment and top with an onion half, cut side down. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll and score the puff pastry, then cut 12 - 3.5" circles using cutters like these from Ateco. Remove the onions from oven and allow to cool. Top each with a circle of puff pastry, tucking the pastry tightly around the onion. Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, keeping an eye on the pastry; remove from the oven when it is browned to your liking.
Once out of the oven, invert the tartes and remove the parchment immediately. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy!
These are sweet, so next time around I'd consider a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar or serving with a small bit of fresh goat cheese.