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Onion, Cheese and Bacon Tart

I have a collection of food magazines that I flip through from time to time. Bon Appetite, Cooking Light, Food Network Magazine and Fine Cooking are among my favourites. As a kid, I loved looking through Bon Appetite, and while I still enjoy reading it, I  have noticed that practically every recipe calls for at least one strange, difficult-to-find or expensive ingredient. Just to prove my point, I just flipped through an issue of Bon Appetite,  and I came across this recipe ~ Salmon and Sea Scallop Soup with Caviar. Some of the ingredients include : smoked salmon, fresh salmon, Champagne, sea scallops, dry vermouth, fresh herbs and each serving is garnished with a little black caviar. Seriously, Bon Appetite! That had better be a pretty tasty soup, you could probably buy a used car for less money.

I came across this recipe the other day, and SURPRISE, it didn't call for any weird ingredients. Caramelized onions, crispy bacon, Gruyere cheese, all melting together in a flaky, buttery pie crust. It doesn't get much better than that. Oh, don't get me wrong, it is LOADED with fat and calories,. but I have learned that if you pair something decadent like this with a little salad, it will cancel out all the calories. That's the way it works, right?

Onion, Cheese, and Bacon Tart
from Bon Appetite October 2002

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp( or more) ice water

3 thick -cut bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion, thinly sliced
pinch of sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
generous pinch of salt
generous pinch of grated nutmeg
1/2 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

For Crust: Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening, using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 Tbsp. ice water and process until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball, flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 11 inch round. Transfer to 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze 10 minutes. Line crust with foil, fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is set and partially cooked through, about 15 minutes longer.Cool crust while making the filling .Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:

Saute bacon in medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Add onion and a pinch of sugar to drippings in skillet and saute until onion is deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.Whisk cream, egg, egg yolk, pepper, salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl to blend. Spread onion over bottom of baked crust, sprinkle bacon over, then cheese. pour cream mixture over.
Place on baking sheet and bake until tart is puffed and filling is set, 25 - 30 minutes. Cool tart on rack 10 minutes. Remove pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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