For the second day of #BrunchWeek, I made these Apple and Caramelized Onion Tarts using New Zealand Breeze Apples and Vidalia Onions.
Welcome to the fourth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We are so excited to have you join us this year as we celebrate Brunch and prepare for Mother’s Day. 37 Bloggers from around the country will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to cakes, breakfast breads, tarts, and quiche – there is something for everyone! Our amazing Sponsors have donated some great prizes for the #BrunchWeek giveaway. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!
It may be nearly summer, but I am bringing a little fall flavor to #BrunchWeek with these Apple and Caramelized Onion Tarts. A simple pie crust base is filled with sweet caramelized onions and sage, then topped with shredded Gruyere cheese and thinly sliced apples. They are baked until golden and best served warm or at room temperature. They would make an elegant addition to a Mother’s Day brunch table.
Since Vidalia Onions are grown in a small region in Georgia in low-sulfur sandy soil, they are particularly sweet compared to other onion varieties and perfect for caramelizing. It gave the tart a delightful balance between savory and sweet. The trick to caramelizing onions is to not rush it. I kept the heat around medium low to slowly bring out the flavor over about 30 minutes. I used the New Zealand Breeze Apples provided by the Sage Fruit Company to top the tarts in a beautiful layered patterned. I loved the color the pink-red blush peel added to the tarts. The crisp, dense flesh held up very well for layering. These apples will be available to the US market in small quantities in August 2016 and on a commercial volume in August 2017. I also used Dixie Crystals Sugar to sweeten the pie crust and soften the apple slices.
Sprinkling the apple slices (cut as thinly as possible, about 1/8th of an inch or smaller) with salt and sugar and allowing them to sit for an hour helps release some of the liquid. This keeps them in great condition for arranging over the tops of the tarts and prevents that excess liquid from seeping into the tarts and making them soggy. No need to rinse off the salt and sugar from the apples after they have been resting.
I used this set of 4.75 inch round tart pans with removable bottoms to make smaller tarts in perfect serving sizes. You can also use the ingredients to make one larger 9 inch tart.
Here is what everyone else made for the second day of #BrunchWeek:
- Bluberry Mint Julep by The Suburban Soapbox
BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
- Lemon-Glazed Banana and Candied Ginger Scones by The Texan New Yorker
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins by Feeding Big and more
- Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts by The Chef Next Door
- Braided Pepperoni Pizza Bread by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- French Toast with Apple Compote and Caramel Syrup by The Redhead Baker
- Lemon Sticky Buns by The Barbee Housewife
- Same Day Mock Liege Waffles by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
- Apple and Caramelized Onion Tart by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Tropical Smoothie by Gluten Free Crumbley
BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
- Breakfast Burger by Cooking In Stilettos
- Fiddlehead, Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Quiche by Palatable Pastime
- Poached Eggs on Asparagus Bundled with Prosciutto on Cheesy Polenta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
- Baked Seafood Stuffed Avocados by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Fried Chicken Biscuits and Gravy Sandwich by From Gate to Plate
- Kielbasa Welsh Rarebit by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pulled Pork Pancakes by Brunch-n-Bites
- Sausage and Fried Apples by Making Miracles
- Brie and Raspberry Tarts by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Lemon Meringue Angel Food Cake by Love & Confections
- Lemon Zucchini Bread by Sweet Beginnings
- Orange Cheesecake With Caramel Rum Sauce by Wholistic Woman
Now onto the giveaway:
Prize #1 Red Star Yeast is giving one winner an amazing baking set, which includes a mixing bowl, dough whisk, bamboo spatula, rubber spatula, instant-read thermometer, measuring cup, pizza cutter, tea towel, oven mitt, bench scraper, ‘Knead to be Loaved’ apron, 6 strips of Red Star Yeast, National Festival of Breads cookbook, and The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day hardcover cookbook
For more than a century, home bakers have trusted the high quality and consistent performance of RED STAR Yeast. Inspiring bakers from novice to professional, our goal is your baking success! Visit redstaryeast.com for hundreds of tried & true recipes, baking tips and how-to videos. Better yeast. Better bread. Every time.
Prize #2 Dixie Crystals is giving one winner 1 case of 2-lb Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, a silicone baking mat, Dixie Crystal’s My First Cookbook, and Dixie Crystals red ruffle apron.
About Dixie Crystals: Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South’s choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. Our pure cane sugar products are all natural, non-GMO and provide consistently delicious results.
Prize #3 Cabot Cheese is giving one winner $50 assortment of Cabot Cheese, one Berghoff Cheese Knife and one Slate Cheese Board
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is a 1,200 farm family dairy cooperative with members in New England & upstate New York making all natural, award-winning cheeses & the “World’s Best Cheddar.”
Prize #4 Vidalia Onion Committee is giving one winner a Martha Stewart Knife Set, cast iron fry pan, cutting board, and fresh Vidalia Onions
About Vidalia Onions: Vidalia onions are unique to a very small region. In fact, they only grow within 20 counties in Georgia (which is also why they are the official state vegetable of Georgia)!
Vidalia onions were discovered back in 1930’s, and just like back then, they are still planted, transplanted and harvested entirely all by hand! Vidalia onions are grown during the winter months, and are only available in stores between April and September, making them a true seasonal specialty. In order to grow great tasting Vidalias, and to give them their characteristic sweetness, they must be grown in a sandy soil mixture that is low in sulfur (sulfur in soil is what gives onions their hotness). Because of this sweet flavor, Vidalia onions are incredibly versatile and can be used in any sort of dish; grilling, baking, appetizers, sandwiches, casseroles, and yes, even sweet desserts. Each year, approximately 5-million 40-pound boxes are shipped out around the entire country – now that’s a lot of onions!
Prize #5 Sage Fruits is giving one winner a Ninja® Mega Kitchen System® with Slicing/Shredding
Sage Fruit Company is a premier grower/shipper of apples, pears and cherries. Not only are they focused on healthy products, but also on helping kids get excited about healthy eating through their free Kids in Force program that helps kids eat more nutrition and get more physical activity.
Prize #6 Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.
Prize #7 KitchenIQ is giving one winner a Lid & Mitt, Edge Grip Quick Prep Knife Sharpener & Pairing Knife Combo, IQ Smart Wireless Nutri Scale, Edge Bug Scissor Sharpener, and Prep & Measure Tool
KitchenIQ, the new houseware branch of Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc., embraces Smith’s long-standing reputation for innovation and quality. KitchenIQ is committed to producing smarter products for the kitchen.
Prize #8 Le Creuset is giving one winner one Egg Carton in Caribbean, a Heritage 4 Qt Rectangular Baking Dish in Caribbean and a Revolution Spatula Spoon in Caribbean.
Le Creuset is focused on inspiring and empowering people everywhere to make joy through cooking. From our original enameled cast iron cookware to stoneware, stainless, silicone and more, Le Creuset has grown to offer products across a range of materials and categories that guarantees the right tool for the right job.
Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Vidalia Onion Committee, Sage Fruits, Nielsen-Massey, KitchenIQ, and Le Creuset for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up only. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Eight winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Butter for greasing pie pans
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced (I used Breeze apples)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
3 large Vidalia onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded gruyere
To make the pie dough: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter using a dough blender, forks, or your fingers until the texture becomes coarse and no pieces are larger than the size of a pea. Mix in the water and vinegar just until a smooth dough forms.
Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Grease 6 (4.75 inch) tart pans or 1 large tart pan (9 inch) with butter. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin circle large enough to cover the bottoms and sides of the 9 inch pan or divide among the 6 (4.75 inch) dishes. Transfer to the pans, pressing to cover the bottom and slightly overlap the sides. Prick the bottoms a few times with a fork. Place in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover each pie crust-lined pan lightly with parchment and fill with ceramic pie weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the parchment.
To make the apples: Place the thinly sliced apples in a colander over a bowl or in the sink. Sprinkle with salt and sugar, then toss to coat. Allow to sit for an hour while preparing the remaining ingredients.
To make the caramelized onion base: In a large pot, melt together 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the sage and cook for about a minute to crisp. Mix in the onions and salt. Cook for a minute, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, 30-45 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425 F.
Mix the eggs and heavy cream into the cooled onions. Divide among the partially baked pie dishes. Top evenly with cheese.
Arrange a few apple slices flat over the filling around the edge with the peel side facing the crust. This will create a base for layering the remaining apple slices. Starting along the edge, layer the apple slices in a circular pattern, alternating the direction if desired and if room is available using the larger tart pan (there wasn’t enough space in the 4 inch tart pans). Brush the tops with melted butter and bake in the 425 F oven until the filling is set and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes (closer to 40-45 minutes for a 9 inch tart). If the edges of the apples are starting to burn, cover lightly with foil and reduce heat to 375 degrees F.
Serve warm or at room temperature.