A decent menu is always a source of anxiety. To be forced to select one dish and neglect all the others can be a torment. This tart is well suited for those whom, understandably, find themselves indecisive around food: it sits in that magical sweet spot between sweet and savoury, saving you the agonies of at least one decision by generously satisfing both appetites at once. For those with firmer opinions on just what it is they want to eat, the tart can be made more savoury by skimming back on the apple and adding a little potato and crisp pancetta. I would not attempt to make this tart more distinctively sweet. The caramelised onion is essential to it and an onion in a sweet is just unpermissable in any circumstances. Your sweet tooth will be far better served by another recipe.
This recipe originates with Martha Stewart’s Savoury Apple and Onion Tarts recipe (from her book ” New Pies and Tarts”) . The original recipe has, however, suffered some significant and somewhat bold adjustments .
Beetroot, Rye and Rosemary Pastry
- 1 medium beet root, grated (once grated, squeeze out the excess juice and chill it) -it s a messy business but tremendous fun.
- 170g cold firm butter chopped small
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar / honey
- 1 egg yolk (keep the egg white aside if you would like do to a wash on you pastry a little later)
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup Rye flour (or wholewheat flour)
Apple, Caramelised Onion and Brie Filling
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large onion (or 1 1/2 small) finely chopped
- 3 large cooking apples (chopped- these are going disintegrate as they cook and caramelise so when chopping these you can afford to be lazy)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 125 grams ripe Brie roughly chop (I imagine that most cheeses would do well here)
Pulse pastry ingredients together in a food processor until you have a coarse bread crumb texture. Add just enough of the chilled beet root juice to bring the crumbs into a ball. Roll the pinkish pastry between baking sheets and shaping it into a large disc about 6mm thick.
This pastry demands a doting baker: work quickly and remember to keep everything cool, stopping to put the pastry back in the fridge, for a while, if the butter is getting too soft.
- Heat oil and butter in saucepan on a medium heat
- Add onion, apple, sugar and rosemary and cook until softened
- Season with salt, pepper and rosemary
- Turn the heat down until the mix has turned a beautiful golden colour
- Allow to cool completely and mix with the chopped Brie
The Happy Union :
Spread the apple and onion mix over your disc of pastry, leaving a border of about 5cm. Fold the uncovered edge up over the filling (making a rustic enclosure). Let it chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for about 40- 45 minutes. I did a light egg-white wash on the pastry about 30 minutes into the cooking time, to give it a little extra colour.
Let it cool for a few minutes before moving the pie. The pastry will be flaky and soft and so maneuvering the tart will require something of a gentle touch.
A link to Martha’s Book : http://www.marthastewart.com/338752/martha-stewarts-new-pies-and-tarts-cookb