tartlicious tuesday's: potato & onion tartes tatin recipe
These individual potato and onion tarts are the perfect accompaniment to any holiday meal. They look fabulous on the table. Of course, when we have large gatherings we make large portions that are placed on the dining or buffet table. But, it is always impressive to add at least one side dish that is made for each individual. These tarts are perfect. They are easy to make, look fantastic and taste even better. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of onions, you will love the buttery goodness of these potato and onion tarts.
We recommend that you try to make your own puff pastry (pate feuilletee.) There is nothing like home made puff pastry. And, once you make a batch it can be kept in the freezer. The recipe below makes about two pounds of puff pastry so it will last for several recipes. Of course, with everyone busy, the store bought puff pastry is a good option and will taste very good.
Both the Potato and Onion Tart recipe as well as the Pate Feuilletee recipe come from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.
Individual Potato-and-Onion Tartes Tatin
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces, plus more for pans
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 (17 1/4-ounce) standard package store-bought puff pastry
4 medium yellow onions, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
5 small new potatoes, peeled
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
6 small pats of butter (this is something we added)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sugar
1. Very generously butter six 5-inch round metal pie plates; set aside. (You can also use an oversized muffin pan.) On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cutter or a small plate as a guide, cut dough into 4 1/2-inch rounds. Prick rounds all over with a fork. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Lay two or three onion rounds on the bottom of each pie pan. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice potatoes into thin rounds, about a scant 1/4 inch thick. Place potato slices, slightly over lapping, over the onion in two layers of concentric circles (they should completely cover the onion). Sprinkle potatoes generously with salt and pepper. Place a pat of butter on top of the potatoes and then place chilled puff pastry rounds on top of the potatoes in each pie plate. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
3. Immediately invert tartlets onto a platter. In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture reduces to a syrup, about 4 minutes. Whisk in butter, a piece at a time, until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Glaze tartlets with balsamic syrup and serve warm.
Puff Pastry (Pate Feuilletee)
FoodBreakfastBrunchButterDessert FrenchPuff pastry
1 pound all-purpose flour, accurately weighed
1 pound (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 cup heavy cream mixed with 1/2 cup ice water)
1. Make the butter dough: In the bowl of a food processor or using the flat paddle of an electric mixer, mix 1/2 cup flour with the butter until very smooth. Shape the mixture into a 1-inch-thick flat square, wrap well in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
2. Make the flour dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine salt with the remaining flour, and add cream. Mix the dough well by hand or with an electric mixer; the dough will not be completely smooth, but it should not be sticky. Shape it into a 1 1/2-inch-thick flat square, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Remove the flour dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a rectangle twice as long as the butter-dough square. Place the butter dough in the center, fold up the ends of the flour dough to completely encase the butter dough, and seal the edges by pinching them together. Wrap well in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes so that the dough achieves the same temperature throughout.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and on a lightly floured board, roll it out into a large rectangle approximately 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds, aligning the edges carefully and brushing off any excess flour. The object is to ensure that the butter is distributed evenly throughout so that the pastry will puff evenly when baked. Wrap the dough, and chill it for at least 30 minutes. This completes one turn.
5. Repeat this process five more times; classic puff pastry gets six turns, creating hundreds of layers of butter between layers of the flour dough (729 to be exact). Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough, and always brush off any excess. Remember to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator between turns, or 15 minutes in the freezer. This chilling makes rolling out the dough much easier and keeps the layers of butter equally thick.
6. By the sixth and final turn, the dough should be very smooth, with no lumps of butter visible. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to use (for up to 2 days), or freeze for future use.