This savory/sweet tart would be a perfect way for me to use a large bowl of fresh ripe figs that a friend had given me the day before. I knew that roasting the figs would release their sugars and mixing that sweetness with caramelized onions and sharp salty Stilton cheese would be a wonderful combination. The additions of the fresh rosemary and pignoli (pine) nuts and a drizzle of honey at the end, that the recipe called for, would further add to the delicate savory and sweet taste. I could not wait to make it!
It taste exactly as I had imagined. It was light because of the puff pastry crust, with an explosion of sweet and salt and a touch of woodsy rosemary. My husband and I savored every delicious bite! I think it would make an easy to make, elegant appetizer for an autumn dinner party.
Published: September 29, 2009 - New York Times
Time: 1 1/2 hours
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions (1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary, more for garnish
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup milk
Flour for dusting
3/4 pound prepared puff pastry
1 pint fresh figs ( 3/4 pound), stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled (about 6 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Good-quality honey for drizzling, optional.
1. In a large skillet over low heat, melt butter with oil. Add onions, rosemary and sugar. Cook, tossing occasionally, until onions are limp and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg until smooth. Stir in the onions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Transfer to baking sheet.
3. Use a fork to spread onion mixture evenly over pastry (let excess egg mixture drip back into bowl), leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange figs, cut-side up, in even rows on onion mixture. Scatter cheese and pine nuts over figs. Use a pastry brush to dab edges of tart with egg mixture. Gently fold over edges of tart to form a lip and brush with more egg mixture.
4. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with rosemary needles and drizzled with honey, if desired, warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 8 servings.