As I sit here sipping on a hot cup of coffee, cat purring lightly by my side, toddler still swimming in the pleasantry of dreams upstairs, I’m struck by the quiet stillness of the crisp morning slowly welcoming the sun on it’s horizon. This is my favorite time of the day. Just me and the sunrise. No diapers to change, no groceries to garner, no runny noses to wipe. With my feet up on the table and my computer strategically positioned across my lap, I click away at the keys and gaze out the windows of my warm, cozy family room to the wide open world beyond. Small thoughts flit through my mind. What do I need to get accomplished today? Will chicken or fish be on tonight’s dinner menu? Will the boys have a good day at school today? I slowly feel my body waking up as a first and then a second gulp of caffeine goodness permeates my being.
It’s the simple pleasures that have the most meaning after all. This tart is a compilation of simple pleasures for me. Caramelized onions meet cheese meet egg meet crust. One warming bite can put a smile across my face and ready me for whatever the day might bring.
For a small slice of your very own contentment you’ll follow a few straightforward steps.
Start out by caramelizing a sliced sweet onion in a few pats of butter. Don’t be shy about letting them cook; a good 25 to 30 minutes will render a golden brown, sweet as honey flavor that will elevate your tart from satisfactory to extraordinary. About halfway through, drop in a few cloves of garlic and a hearty sprinkling of fresh thyme.
While the onions are cooking, grab up a large bowl and drop in a few eggs, some spices, a little white wine, some broth, a glug of half & half and a hunk of goat cheese. Give it a few swift swirls to incorporate all the flavors. I used my emulsifier to achieve a nice, smooth consistency. A mixer would also work.
Using either a store bought pie crust or your own homemade version, pour in the egg mixture. Drop in the onions next, followed by a few dollops of brie and then a sprinkling of Parmesan across the top.
On a cookie sheet, slide the pie in the oven to bake. The pie is done when the center is cooked through and the top is an appetizing golden brown.
If you choose to make the crust recipe below, the process is fairly straightforward. Combine together a few hearty cupfuls of flour along with a pinch of both salt and sugar and a few extra thyme leaves for added flavor. Using a fork, pastry cutter or food processor, cut the butter into the dough, a few cubes at a time, until completely incorporated. Adding one tablespoon at a go, drizzle in a squirt of water and mix the dough until it just starts to stick together. It will look a bit crumbly.
Form the dough into a ball, flour your counter and roll it out to fit your pie plate; about a 1/4″ thick.
Toss in a few pie weights, some dried beans or, if you have neither of those because your beans were tossed out by an unknowing husband trying to do good (just sayin’), get creative and figure out another way to weight down your crust.
Cook it in the oven for about 15 minutes and then allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before adding in the egg mixture and continuing on with the recipe.
For me, it’s the simple pleasures that guide me through the day and put a smile to my face. What are a few of your simple pleasures?
Three Cheese Onion Tart
Yield: 1 Tart (About 8 Pie Sized Slices)
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min
3 Tbsp Butter
1 Sweet Onion, Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme
1/2 Cup Half & Half
2 Tbsp White Wine
1 Cup Veggie Broth
2.5 Oz Goat Cheese
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Pd Cubed Brie Cheese
3 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Prepared Pie Crust
OR to make your own pie crust:
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter (8 Tbsp or 1/2 Cup), Cubed
2-3 Tbsp Ice Water
Heat up the butter over medium heat and add in the sliced onions.
Cook the onions for 25-30 minutes or until they turn golden brown and translucent. About 20 minutes into the cooking add in the garlic and thyme.
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, half &half, white wine, broth, goat cheese and spices. I used my emulsifier to get the goat cheese good and incorporated.
Pour the liquid mixture into your prepared pie crust. Note that it will be pretty liquidy - about the consistency of thick water.
Drop the caramelized onions over the top.
Drop the cubed brie in next being sure to disperse it evenly around the pie.
Finally, sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
Carefully slide the pie into the oven and cook it at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle.
Pull it out and allow to cool and set for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
For the Optional Crust:
Mix together the flour, sugar, fresh thyme and salt.
Place the cubed butter into the flour mixture, a bit at a time and incorporate using a fork or a pastry cutter. A food processor also works well.
Continue adding the remaining butter until a light crumb-like texture forms.
Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to come together (in a food processor it will look a bit crumbly and damp).
Form the dough into a ball and roll out on a flour surface to the size of your pie pan and about 1/4" thickness.
Place rolled dough into the pie pan and using pie weights or dry beans on top, slide into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Let crust cool for about 5 to 10 minutes and proceed with recipe as written.