caramelized onion tarts

Caramelized Onion Tarts

Andy Warhol liked to eat alone and in 1975 he planned on starting a chain of restaurants for other people like him called ANDY MATS – “The Restaurant for the Lonely Person.” The concept was that you get your food then take your tray into a booth and watch television. Envisioned as an international chain, the first one was scheduled to open in the fall of ’77 in New York City. On the menu were onion tarts, because no need to worry about bad bread when dining solo. The restaurant never materialized.

Read more about the Andy Mat and other fun 70s tidbits in my latest blog, Cooking Art History: Biting the Big Apple.

For the pastry:
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup ice water
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

For the onions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon thyme
salt and pepper

Make the pastry. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Place onto a floured surface and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare the onions. Pour olive oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and caramelized. Add the fresh thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. On a floured counter, roll the first piece dough out into a roughly 8-inch round, although it really doesn’t need to be perfectly shaped. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle about ¼ of the onions into the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 individual tarts

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