Jun 4, 2012

Spring Luncheon: Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tarts with Blueberry Trifle




Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tarts
  • 1 package Dufour puff pastry, defrosted
  • olive oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  •  salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup (about) grated Parmesan
  • 4 ounces herbed or plain chevre (goat cheese)
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
  • a few basil leaves shredded finely
    Golden Brown and Savory
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use Convection feature if your oven has it.

Caramelized Onions:
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Let them cook slowly for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and beginning to turn golden, and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper,  balsamic vinegar, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Unfold a sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it slightly with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Using a pizza cutter or knife, divide it into 12 rectangles. Transfer rectangles to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Pastry rectangles ready for Oven
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry rectangle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Divide the of the onion mixture evenly, again staying within the scored edge.

Crumble goat cheese on top of the onions. Top each with a tomato slice in the center. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, sprinkle a bit more parmesan on top

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown, rotating sheets as necessary. Serve hot or warm.




BLUEBERRY LEMON TRIFLE
 serves 12 
  • 1 Pound Cake (plain or lemon) purchased or made from your favorite recipe
  • 1 jar Lemon Marmelade
  • 4 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream divided
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
1. Rinse Blueberries. Put 2 pints in a food processor and puree. Add sugar to taste, if the berries are not sweet enough. Mix pureed blueberries with whole berries and reserve in a bowl.
2. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes.
3. Put softened cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer with the sugar, and begin to beat. Slowly pour in one cup of cream, and beat until smooth and thick. Spoon in a large dollop of the lemon marmelade.
4. Put remaining marmelade in a saucepan or a microwave-able bowl. Heat either on the stovetop or into the microwave until melted, add in the Grand Marnier or Triple sec. Cool.

Assembly:

In a straight-sided glass bowl, carefully spoon in a layer of the berry mixture. Follow with a layer of cake cubes. Spoon or brush the cake cubes with the marmelade-liqueur mixture. Spoon in a layer of the cream mixture. Repeat layers ending with berries.
Be careful to keep the sides of the bowl as clean as possible, to show off the layers.

Put remaining cup of cream in mixer and whip until stiff peaks form, with about 1/4 cup additional sugar. Spoon over the top (or put in a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe it on if you are feeling fancy). Decorate with mint leaves, flowers, crushed cookie crumbs, or whatever is handy. Enjoy with champagne.



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