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Individual Goat Cheese And Caramelized Onion Tarts

Serves: 8 as an appetizer/first course

Level of Difficulty: Medium

1 batch of your favorite 2-crust short crust (piecrust) dough

3 onions (about 1 ½#)
½ t. salt
2 T. olive oil
10 ounces soft goat cheese (about 1 heaping cup)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1 t. fresh thyme (plus optional sprigs for garnish)

Roll out dough into two 12” rounds. Cut out 4 circles about 5 - 5 ½” in diameter out of each round (slightly larger than 4” mini-tart pans with removable bottoms). Carefully ease the rounds into the tart pans, pressing gently into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Chill while you prepare the filling.

Thinly slice onions. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and salt and cook covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until onions are very soft. Continue to cook, uncovered, stirring until deep, golden brown and any liquid in skillet has evaporated. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick shells a few times with a fork. Blind bake the shells (partially bake the shells before they are filled) on one or two cookie sheets about 5 or 6 minutes, just until firm. Whisk goat cheese, butter and sour cream in a large glass measuring cup until smooth. Whisk in eggs and continue to whisk until well combined. Season custard with salt and pepper. Spread onions evenly over bottom of the tart shells. Pour the custard over the onions, dividing evenly between the 8 tart shells. Sprinkle thyme over custard.

Bake in center of oven until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Cool about 5 minutes. Carefully remove from tart pans and serve on individual plates, garnishing with additional thyme sprigs if desired. (Tarts can be made 2 days ahead. Cool completely in pans and chill, covered. Reheat, in pans, uncovered, in 350 degree oven about 10 minutes to warm and crisp crusts.)

Mary Schlueter is the chef/innkeeper for Amber House Bed & Breakfast. Amber House is located in the village of Rocheport, Missouri, recently name one of the “Ten Coolest Small Towns in America” by Frommer’s Budget Travel.

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