From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've been experimenting with serving size today. I'm having a buffet luncheon this month, but I have more people coming than I have places at my table. I want to serve a meal that can be eaten from a paper plate and balanced on a lap in a crowded room. Quiche immediately came to mind, but I thought a standard piece would be difficult to serve and eat given the circumstances. I eyed my Texas-sized muffin pan and thought the cups would make perfect small tarts if they were lined with pastry and filled with a cheesy custard. My test run was done using an unbaked pie crust from the grocery store. I cut it into 6 circles and used them to line the large muffin cups. My family is partial to an onion tart that I make several times a year. I used the filling from that tart for the petite version I was testing for the luncheon. It took about 20 minutes to make and another 30 minutes to bake my test version of the tarts. When done, it was obvious that they'd make for neater serving at the table, and they were also small enough to be eaten without a fork, which would be great for a buffet. I'm not yet sure I'll serve the tarts for the luncheon, but I like the idea of small, individual servings, and, with all due modesty, I must say they are delicious. I hope you'll give them a try. Here is how they are made.
Swiss Onion Tart...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 unbaked pie crust
6 slices smoked bacon or 4 ounces smoked salmon
3 tablespoons canola oil (optional)
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups (8-oz.) Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 dairy sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup (4-oz.) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut 6 (5-inch) circles from pie crust. Fit pieces them into Texas-sized muffin cups. Set aside.
2) If using bacon, fry in a medium saute pan until crisp. Transfer to paper toweling and crumble. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons bacon drippings. If using salmon, shred and set aside.
3) Saute onions in reserved bacon drippings or 3 tablespoons canola oil until limp and caramelized. Cool slightly.
4) Place Gruyere cheese, sour cream, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add bacon or salmon and onions. Mix well. Place into lined muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with cheddar cheese.
5) Bake in lower third of oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until knife inserted into center of custard comes out clean. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan and serve. Yield: 6 servings.
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