10/13/2013

Sunday Dinner

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Caramelized Onion and Apple Tassies

Cassoulet with Toulouse Sausage, Lamb Stew, and Duck Confit

Chocolate Tart


It's that time of year when I get to choose the Sunday Dinner menu. Actually, I choose most of the Sunday menus, but this Sunday happens to precede my birthday (always nice to turn 21 again).  You'll note that not much has change over the past three years when my birthday rolls around.  In fact, the only thing that really changes on the menu is the appetizer and dessert.  I promise that one of these years I will get to the Cassoulet.  But it is very involved (I even make my own sausage) and I spend days prepping.  So for now, I will keep it simple and share the appetizer.  

We enjoyed these little bite-sized cups a few weeks ago.  They were so delicious that I wanted to make them again while the apples are at their peak.  I changed up the original recipe a bit to suit my own tastes.  The original recipe called for Asiago cheese in the dough and filling, but I chose to use a good aged White Cheddar, but just in the filling.  I completely omitted the cheese from the dough.  I also used apple cider vinegar in lieu of balsamic since there are apples in the recipe.  I added some crème fraîche for richness and an egg as a binder.  These adaptations made for a two bite cup of Fall goodness.  Oh and I almost forgot... there's bacon in there too!


Caramelized Onion and Apple Tassies
makes 2 dozen

8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of kosher salt
4 bacon slices
1 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely diced
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1/2 cup (2-ounces) aged White Cheddar cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon crème fraîche
1 extra large egg

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.  Gradually add the flour and salt, beating at low speed until well blended.  Shape the mixture into 24 balls.  Place on a baking sheet, cover and chill for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp.  Drain on paper towels and finely chop; set aside.  Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet and return to medium heat and add the butter.  Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the apple, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and cool completely.  Once cooled, add the cheese, crème fraîche, egg, and cooked bacon, mixing until combined.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Place the dough balls into the cups of a lightly greased 24-cup mini-muffin pan.  Press the dough up the sides of the cups to form a cup.  Divide apple mixture evenly between the dough cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the tassies from the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Source: Southern Living, September 2013


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