Many years ago my parents brought me to Lutece on a weekend trip to New York City. Before the meal, we were given a small slice of an Alsation onion tart. I never saw the chef that night…in fact at that time I didn’t know who Andre Soltner was. About 10 - 12 years later, when I was living in Boston, Chef Soltner gave an Alsatian cooking seminar in Cambridge. That night he prepared Pike Sausages, Stuffed Veal Breast, Grilled Trout and of course, his Onion Tart. This recipe is based on my notes from that evening.
2 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and chilled
½ cup ice cold water
3 slices slab bacon
2 – 3 large sweet onions, peeled and chopped
½ cup heavy cream
Pepper, salt and grated nutmeg
1. Mix flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor; slowly pulse in the butter one piece at a time; pulse until coarse and crumbly; gradually add water, pulsing until dough just comes together; Do not work the dough too much; gather into a ball, wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 375F.
3. Heat bacon in a large skillet over low heat to render fat; do not brown; remove bacon and reserve fat; finish cooking bacon until crisp in another skillet or the microwave; finely chop bacon.
4. Sauté onions in reserved fat until tender; cook slowly so they do not brown excessively; remove from pan and cool in a large bowl.
5. In a small bowl beat the egg and cream together and add to the onions; Add bacon, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
6. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and line a 10 inch tart pan with the dough; trim the edges and fill with the onion mixture.
7. Bake tart for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the onions are well set and the crust is light brown; remove, cool slightly; serve warm.