Crispy savoury tart made with buttery spelt pate brisee, caramelized red onions, and a rich, creamy and velvety smooth béchamel sauce. They're delicious to snack on and also lovely as a first course at a dinner party.
Creamy Onion Tartletsadapted from Leite's Culinaria
- Heap the flour on a counter and make aw well. Put in butter, salt and egg. Using your fingertips, mix these ingredients together. Little by little, draw in the flour, working the dough delicately until it has a grainy texture.
- Add in milk and incorporate gently with your fingertips until the dough begins to hold together. Using the palm of your hand, work the dough by pushing it away from you 4-5 times until smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour or until firm.
- On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 3-mm thickness. Cut out three 16-cm and three 9-cm circles. Use them to line three 10-cm and three 6-cm tart pans. Prick the pastry shell bases and line with foil, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Bake the crusts blind for about 15 minutes. Lower the oven setting to 170C/340F. Remove the beans foil and return the pastry to te oven for 5 minutes. Leave in the pans and set aside while you prepare the filling.
- In a large skillet, combine the onions, half of the butter, and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until very tender and lovely golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cream in a slow, steady stream. Still whisking, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, whisking occasionally.
- Pour a little of the cream mixture into the eggs, whisking until completely combined. Slowly whisk this mixture back into the cream mixture in the saucepan, a little at a time, until well incorporated and smooth. Stir in the caramelized onions, then season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Spoon the mixture onto the pastry shells, spreading it evenly.
- Bake the tarts at 165C/330F until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the tarts slightly on wire rack, then unmold. Serve warm.