Tomato & Ricotta Caramelised Onion Tart

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Mar 7, 2005
Auckland, New Zealand
This is a tart made with lard pastry, which is far superior in flavour to any other short pastry: if you can't bring yourself to use lard then use butter instead. Seek out the highest quality tomatoes, ricotta and parmesan you can find as the quality of these ingredients will make all the difference.

For the pastry
340 g flour tortillas
¾ tsp salt
80 g butter, chilled and diced
80 g lard, chilled and diced tomatoes
4 tbs chilled water
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the tomatoes
20 small Roma tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise
1 tb lemon thyme leaves
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the onions
4 red onions, peeled and quartered
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs red wine vinegar
¼ cup soft brown sugar
1 bay leaf
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the tarts
400 g firm ricotta, crumbled
feta cheese
4 eggs
400 ml cream
4 tbs finely chopped basil
6 tbs finely grated parmesan cheese
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Serve with
¼ cup basil leaves
4 tbs finely grated parmesan cheese
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

For the pastry
1 Combine the flour and the salt in a food processor or bowl. Add the butter and lard and process or rub this into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the chilled water and process or knead lightly until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Cut the dough in half and roll each piece out into a rectangle to live two 30 cm x 11 cm rectangular fluted loose bottomed pie tins. Alternatively roll out one large round tart (30 cm in diameter). Prick the bases and then chill for 30 minutes.
2 Blind bake the tart shells by lining them with baking paper and filling with baking beans (rice or lentils work well). Cook the pastry at 200°C for 20 minutes or until lightly golden and remove the baking paper and beans and cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Remove the pastry from the oven and immediately brush with a little beaten egg to seal the shells.

For the tomatoes
1 Place the tomatoes in a roasting tin and sprinkle with the thyme, olive oil , salt and pepper.
2 Slow roast the tomatoes at 150°C for at least 1 hour or until they have started to carmelise around the edges and are slightly dry. Set them aside until they are needed.

For the onions
1 Combine all the ingredients in an ovenproof dish. Cover and cook at 150°C for 40 minutes then remove the lid and cook for a further 40 minutes or until the onions are soft and caramelised. Set aside until needed. Drain any liquid from the onions before placing in the tart shells.

For the tarts
1 Crumble the ricotta into the tart shells. Arrange the roasted tomatoes and onions evenly throughout the tarts. Whisk together the eggs, cream, basil, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour this egg custard over the filling. Bake in a hot oven (200°C) for 15-20 minutes or until the custard is set.
2 Sprinkle the basil leaves and parmesan over the tarts and drizzle with olive oil. Serve

Servings: 8

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