The flavor of sweet, local onions blends beautifully with the saltiness of bacon and the mild bite of fresh thyme in this savory tart.
PASTRY (see note)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
4 slices bacon
5 large sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced (see note)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons local honey
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons cream
To prepare the pastry, pulse together the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a plastic blade. Pulse until the butter is about the size of small peas. Gradually drizzle in the ice water while pulsing. Add just enough water for the dough to form a loose ball. Turn the pasty out onto a lightly floured surface and quickly form the dough into a 1-inch thick disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to three days).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees while preparing filling. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning as needed, until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan. Coarsely chop bacon when cool enough to handle. Add onions, salt, pepper and thyme to reserved bacon fat and cook over medium heat until the onions have softened, stirring frequently. Do not let the onions brown. Add the wine and cook until the wine has cooked down to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the honey and chopped bacon. Stir and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove the onion mixture from the pan and place in a shallow pan; refrigerate to cool. When cool spoon off any excess pan juices and stir in the egg and cream.
Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and line a 12-inch tart pan (or two 9-inch pans) with the pastry and crimp the edges. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (dry beans work well). Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the paper and weights and bake an additional 10 minutes to lightly brown the bottom. Allow to cool slighlty. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Fill the pastry with the onion mixture and bake until golden brown and the filling is set, about 30 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Note: Use Vidalia or other sweet, local onions. To save time, use prepared, refrigerated pie crust dough.