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Caramelized Onion Tart


Caramelized onions are sautéed low and slow to let the natural sugars in the onion caramelize. They impart an intense, slightly sweet flavor to all dishes, from focaccia to potatoes to soups. In this recipe I used a variety of onions to further deepen the flavor. Although this savory tart is featured here as a side dish, it can also be served as an appetizer.  


Make the Crust

1. Place flour, sugar, salt, and margarine in a food processor fitted with the knife attachment. Process until coarse crumbs form. Add water one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for one hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into an 11-inch (28-cm) circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim dough even with top of pan. Line crust with aluminum foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust until just set, 12-15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Remove foil and weights.  


This dough can be made in advance and frozen. Also, if you prefer a more piquant flavored pie, add any or all of the following: a few crushed thyme leaves added to the custard, a pinch of nutmeg (recommended), or two tablespoons white wine added to the onions.


Make the Filling

1. In a large skillet heat margarine and oil over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and cook — stirring frequently — until brown, 20-25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together soy milk, eggs, egg yolk, and salt.
3. Spread pesto over prepared crust. Spoon onion mixture on top. Pour custard mixture over all. Bake tart until filling is set, 20-25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.  


Substitute 10 coarsely ground sun-dried tomatoes in oil for the pesto. Or use tomatoes for half the pie and pesto for the other half. You can also mix some of the pesto into the custard if desired.