I don’t know why, but I always think fall and winter appetizers when I think of caramelized onions. Maybe it’s the combination of the onions and gorgonzola. So good! I have a confession, I cheat and use bought, frozen, mini tart shells! These are a good thing to take to a party and they’re vegetarian too!
Makes approximately 32 – 36 appetizer size tarts
3 dozen frozen mini tart shells
1 tsp. dried marjoram, or 1 Tbsp. fresh if you have it
¼ cup butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vinegar
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (approx. 4 oz.)
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup creamo or half & half
3 Tbsp. dry white wine
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Garnish: small sprigs of parsley
Preheat oven to 425F. Place frozen tart shells on 2 or 3 rimmed baking sheets. Following instructions on the package, bake until pastry is nearly done. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature. Decrease oven temperature to 375F.
In the meantime, make the caramelized onions. Melt the butter in a large skillet; add brown sugar and vinegar to the pan; cook over medium heat for about 1 minute or until blended. Add the onions; cook covered over low heat for 10 – 12 minutes or until onions are tender and light brown, stirring occasionally.
You can make the onions ahead of time and cool to room temperature, or even the day before and bring up to room temperature before continuing to make the tarts.
Beat the eggs with a whisk; add the creamo, wine and chopped parsley. Divide the onions between the tart shells; top with the Gorgonzola. Pour the egg custard into a 1 cup glass measuring cup that has a spout for pouring. Divide the custard between the tarts. Place the tarts in the oven (if using two oven rack to accommodate the pans, you will need to reverse the pans half way through baking time); bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes on until tarts are slightly puffed and a knife inserted in the centre of a tart comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully remove the tarts from their foil baking shells and serve garnished with a sprig of parsley if desired.
Note: you can cool the tarts completely then reheat when needed for about 10 minutes or so at 350F), which makes them ideal do ahead appetizers.