Caramelized Onion Tartlets with Bacon and Sage

I was a bad blogger this weekend – I made a bunch of yummy stuff, took it to my parents’ house, and forgot my camera! Of course, my mom only has an ancient 2 megapixel camera that refuses to take pictures. So I had to make do with my husband’s cellphone, which at least takes 5 megapixels. Still, though, I had trouble capturing the beauty of these tasty little tarts. These were simple to put together and thoroughly enjoyed by my family – in fact, I think they were declared a favorite of all the food on the table!

Tart Shells
5 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Filling (adapted from Epicurious)
3 medium onions, sliced thinly
4 slices bacon, finely diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1 large egg

Caramelizing the onions (this can be done ahead of time):

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat and cook the bacon, stirring often, until almost crisp. Add the onions, sugar, and salt, and cook, stirring often until they cook down by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until the onions are an even golden brown and softened to a marmalade consistency, 30-45minutes, depending on the onions. Stir often and scrape up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. The onions need almost constant stirring near the end to prevent them from sticking and burning. They’ll let you know they need attention by giving off a sizzling sound. Stir in the sage, allow them to cool slightly, then taste and season with black pepper and additional salt if needed. If the onions seem overly sweet, stir in another teaspoon of vinegar.

Blend cream cheese and butter. Stir in flour and salt just until blended. Roll into little balls and place in greased mini muffin tins; you should get 36. Using a tart shaper, press dough into muffin tins to form little shells, flouring the tart shaper when necessary. Chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir cream or half and half into onion mixture. Divide filling evenly among chilled tart shells, and bake until filling is set and dough is lightly browned; about 20 minutes.

Cool and remove from pans. These can be frozen in a single layer and then transferred to a plastic freezer bag. To reheat these kind of appetizers at my parties, I usually keep the oven on at about 400F with cookie sheets inside, so they are constantly kept warm. I warm up frozen appetizers as necessary by just placing them on the hot cookie sheets for about 10-12 minutes. This works for any kinds of little tarts, mini quiches, potato pancakes, mini turkey burgers, or fried wontons, etc, that have been cooked and frozen.

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5 Responses to “Caramelized Onion Tartlets with Bacon and Sage”

  1. 1

    Pam — March 25, 2008 @ 2:10 pm Reply

    Those sound awesome. I’m a sucker for finger foods, so I’ll have to give these a try!

  2. 2

    Gretchen Noelle — March 25, 2008 @ 9:43 pm Reply

    I bet these are delicious!

  3. 3

    Elly — March 26, 2008 @ 12:38 pm Reply

    these sound so good! i love the cream cheese in the shell. and you can’t go wrong with bacon and caramelized onions.

  4. 4

    Pam — April 5, 2011 @ 1:12 am Reply

    Those sound awesome. I'm a sucker for finger foods, so I'll have to give these a try!

  5. 5

    Gretchen Noelle — April 5, 2011 @ 1:12 am Reply

    I bet these are delicious!

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