Vidalia Onion Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
2 shallots, peeled, left whole
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion, peeled, sliced thinly
1 cup Vidalia onion or sweet onion, peeled, julienned
1 cup leeks, white part only, cleaned, jullienned
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chives, finely diced
*sauces below*

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2.  Line a 9-inch tart pan with puff pastry; prick the dough all over with a fork.
  3. Top with a second pie pan; trim the overhang to a ½ inch beyond the rim. Par-bake the unfilled pie shell in a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the shell is cooked. Remove from oven, remove second pie pan, and cool.
  4. Turn oven to 350°F.
  5. Toss shallots and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil and wrap loosely in foil; roast for 20 minutes, or until soft.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon (½ ounce, 15 ml) oil over medium heat and slowly caramelize the whole slices of red onion. Handle gently so that they retain their round shape. When well-browned and soft, place slices on bottom of prepared shell.
  7. Smash the roasted shallots and place around the red onion.
  8. Heat remaining oil over medium heat and cook the Vidalia onions and leeks for 10 minutes or until very soft and slightly brown. Scatter evenly over red onion rings in tart shell.
  9. Mash roasted garlic in a bowl and add eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and chives. Mix to combine.
  10. Pour over onions and bake for about 15 minutes, until brown on top; loosely cover with foil and bake until set, 45 minutes.
  11. Remove tart from oven and discard foil. Cool slightly—at least 10 minutes—before cutting and serving. Serve with Green Onion-Basil Oil and Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce
3 cups plum tomatoes
1 cup red onion, quartered
1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Toss the tomatoes, onions, and herbs with oil.
  3. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and roast for 45 minutes.
  4. Puree in a food processor to desired consistency (slightly lumpy, coarse texture).
  5. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

Green Olive Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves
  1. Puree all ingredients until smooth.

Chef: should not have served on sauce because you will lose crispness in crust, custard is cooked perfectly, could have more color, onions have very good caramelized flavor, crust could have been blind baked longer and gotten crispier.

Personal  I liked the look of the tart and enjoyed the flavors, but agreed that the crust could have been cooked better (would have been easier with pie weights).  I think sauces could have been better--tomato sauce didn't have much flavor, I think it's because tomatoes are out of season, could have pinced some tomato paste to enrich the tomato flavor or added sun-dried tomatoes. Herb sauce didn't blend well because only a little bit of it in the processor, but more would have made a nice herb oil.

Lessons Learned: caramelizing onions is a slow process and you need to be patient and take your time to get them right. Darker colors are more attractive and will bring out more of the sweetness. also, blind baking the crust you need a weight that is not too heavy or too light, and need to make sure it's a crisp and dark color (may take more than 15 minutes).