Sunday, September 19, 2010

Caramelized Onion Pie for @FeastUp Potluck Picnic!
If I wanted to get fancy then you could say this is my take on Tarte à l'oignon alsacienne that I learned from a Master Class with Chef Andre Soltner at The International Culinary Center in Manhattan. Chef Soltner said other chefs he knows send out a glass of champagne to a friend, but he likes to send out a slice of this pie. He believes, "If someone wants a glass of champagne, he can buy it. But an onion tart he cannot buy". Just as a heads up you really need to keep an eye on the onions as they caramelize, giving them a stir every few minutes or so. It does take a good 40 minutes or so, but the flavor is spectacular. This is a great dish to bring to a picnic and it holds well for a day or so, though it does taste best the day you make it.

3 good sized yellow onions, chopped
1 stick butter
1 or 2 ounces SCHALLER & WEBER BAUERNSCHINKEN (FARMERS HAM) smoky, don't use watery deli ham
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
4-6 slices of swiss cheese, thickly cut
pie dough, feel free to make your own, I always use storebought

Preheat oven to 400
Press pie dough into pie pan. Prick all over with a fork.
Bake til brown, about 15 minutes

While pie shell bakes saute onion with butter over medium high heat until lightly browned and all pieces are tender. Once you see some browning you might want to turn the heat down a bit, or if your brave just stay there stirring until you reach a nice golden color. Stir often!

Scoop cooked onions in a large bowl and let cool. Whisk egg and add to cream. Stir well and mix into coolish onion. Stir in minced ham. Stir in freshly grated nutmeg. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.

Turn oven down to 350

Line pie shell with cheese slices. I find this layer of delicious melting cheese keeps the pie shell crisp. Pour on the egg, cream and onion mixture. Smooth down with a spatula.
Bake until set about 25 minutes.

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