Happy Wednesday! Today, Claire, from A Little Clairefication is taking over and sharing an awesome recipe with you!
And that’s a WHOLE lot of love, right??
Hi, it’s me Claire and I blog over at A Little CLAIREification! I am just SO super excited to be guest posting here today at Just Us Four! What a treat, thanks Shannah! You can find out a little bit more about me here.
But for now what you should know is that, in my world… everything tastes better with BACON! Ohhhh ok, ok. I don’t eat bacon that much – a couple of times a month, maybe – but I sure do love it! And for any of you vegetarians out there, you can substitute extra red peppers or maybe whatever veggie-meat product you prefer in this recipe. I present my Red Pepper, Bacon & Onion Tart – Valentine’s style!
I just adore making (and eating! ) tarts! They are super simple and the possibilities are endless! So many ingredients, so little time. Since we’re making a savory tart today I am going to use my standby tart dough recipe for a basic “Pâte Brisée”. Sounds fancy, huh? Nahh. It’s super simple (and inexpensive!) and the more you make it, the more you will get used to working with homemade tart dough and wonder why you never did it before!
So for the tart dough, the most important thing to remember is to keep it cold! Those little chunks of chilled butter are what makes for a very flaky crust.
The only ingredients in the dough?
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 stick cold butter (I freeze mine to make it super cold), chopped into small cubes
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1/8 cup of ice water
Process the first three in a food processor adding the water very slowly in a stream until the dough forms pea size crumbles and just barely starts to come together. You definitely don’t want to over mix! You may need to add a few more drops of water but once you knead it, the butter will add some moisture too. It will look crumbly but this is normal. Pile the dough mixture onto a floured surface and gently knead together until just formed into a round disc. Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 400*.
I love fresh ingredients!! We actually grew these red peppers in our container garden on our patio! Now I just need a pet chicken. I hear the City frowns on that, though… (and I am sure my cat would be less than amused).
For the filling:
- 6-7 slices of bacon, crispy and crumbled into pieces (save the drippings!)
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup half and half (or a split combination of milk and heavy cream)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp each, salt & pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
When cooking the bacon, I saved the drippings in the pan. When ready, I reheated the pan on medium heat, and added in the diced onion, letting it cook down for about 5 minutes or so.
I then added the diced red pepper, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. A little steam on my camera lens!
While those cooked, I pulled out the dough round and rolled it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.
I used a round tart form for this one but whatever shape you have would work. You can buy tart forms at a cooking store (like Williams Sonoma) or a large home goods store (like Bed Bath & Beyond). They are so handy I have several shapes and use them for both sweet and savory dishes.
Lay the dough into the form and press it down around the edges. It’s ok to take pieces and press them into any gaps along the sides – no worries. These tart pans are very forgiving!
Place the tart dough in the oven to set up for about 10 minutes. Don’t forget it – set a timer!! You can use pie weights in the middle if you want – since it was only 10 minutes, I just patted the “puffy” middle down by hand because that’s how I roll.
In the meanwhile, remove the onions and peppers from the heat and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the eggs, milk (or heavy cream mixture), nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
Remove the “par-baked” tart from the oven and spread the onion and red pepper mixture across the bottom of the tart. Follow with a layer of crumbled bacon. Lastly, a layer of cheese… YUM. I used a triple cheddar combo. You can pretty much use your favorite cheese though!
Carefully pour the egg mixture over the tart until just below the top of the crust. I got a little “precious” and laid in a heart shape with some of the diced red peppers.
Gently place the tart back into the oven (and place a baking sheet below it to catch any drippings!) for about 20 minutes checking it often after 15 minutes or so. Once the egg filling is firm, it’s all done! I added more crumbled bacon into the middle of the heart because.. well more bacon! Yeah!!
Although, in hindsight, I could have left it in for another 5 minutes or so to brown up the crust even more. Ahh, we’re all just home cooks, right?? After about 10 minutes or so, I carefully removed he tart from the form. Hot stuff!!
Since every single member of my family converged upon this and completely devoured the entire thing I’m lucky even got “after” pictures, let alone a piece for myself!
Now how sweet is THAT to serve up for a little Valentine’s breakfast in bed??
Yep, you had me at bacon.
It’s been such a pleasure posting here today! I sure hope you’ll stop by and visit sometime!