Here is the second NYE appetizer recipe as promised. These mini tarts will take about an hour and a half to prepare due to the onions, but I promise you they are well worth it. Before you can blink, they will be completely devoured. I can say this with confidence because I ate my entire test batch in less than 24 hours, which included a night of sleep so..... Hopefully if prepping for a party, you have more self-control than I do.
Mini Caramelized Onion, Apple & Goat Cheese Tarts Recipe
Makes about 24 pieces
16oz savory pastry dough sheets
1 cup chopped apple (about 1.5 apples)
1 cup goat cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons butter + extra for greasing
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary and rosemary sprigs for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
Equipment: You will need two cupcake trays and a large stock pot.
Preheat the over to 400° F, or as stated in the pastry dough's instructions. If you are using a frozen dough, take it out ahead of time so that it will be soft by the time you need to shape it.
Slice the onions up into long strips. If you are unsure of how to do this, I would suggest first cutting the onion in half across the diameter, trimming off the hard ends, and removing the first few outer layers. Then cut one deep groove from the from the center of the onion halve to the outer edge (i.e. a radius for my geometry nerds). Now turn the onion halve on its side, and cut it into rings. I find it easier to start at the small side and work my way to wider side. Loosely separate the rings.
Once you've sliced both onions, put a large stock pot on the stove over medium heat and melt two tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cover. Stir the onions once every 10-15 minutes to ensure they do not burn. As the pan becomes drier, add small amounts of water to keep the onions moist. The onions will first become translucent and then begin to turn golden, and finally a deep caramel color.
This whole process will take about an hour so in the mean time, you can prepare the dough and filling. Mix together the chopped apple, rosemary and goat cheese in a medium bowl and set aside. Grease the cup cake tins with butter; both inside each individual cup and on the top flat part. Give the dough one or two rolls with a rolling pin or bottle to stretch it a bit thinner. Next, begin slicing the dough into 3 inch by 3 inch squares and place each square into a "cup" in the cupcake tin as you go. 16oz of dough should make about 24 tarts. Once in the tin, pinch the flat side of the dough square in on each side, so that the dough square resembles a flower.
Once the onions are fully caramelized, add the goat cheese, apple and rosemary mixture. Stir it all together so that the goat cheese melts and the ingredients are evenly mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. It's important to achieve the right flavor here (and it will need some salt) as there is no chance to do it later.
Add a spoonful of the mixture into each "dough flower". Loosely seal the tarts by folding in each "petal" or corner of the dough.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tarts have started to turn a golden brown. Let the tarts cool slightly and then gently remove with a spoon, scraping around the side of the cup first to loosen it. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and you are ready to serve!
Have a happy, healthy and joyous New Year!!