I found Helen, aka “Tartelette“, on flickr one day somehow, I can’t remember, but I’m glad I did. Before I knew that a trained pastry chef was behind all the food in the images, I remember thinking that the food in was always way too perfect to be made at home. I’m not the only fan of Helen’s though, as she was recently named one of the world’s best food bloggers by the UK Times Online. Her blog Tartelette is enticing in every way, and we are so very happy she shared her bacon and onion tartlet recipe with us. Everything is better with bacon on it! (Vegetarians, don’t get too mad at me!) The beauty of the tart, however, is that you can make endless substitutions to suit your palate. The most important thing is to have an excellent crust, and Helen has provided just that! Enjoy! –Kristina
About Helen: I am Helen, a French expatriate living in Charleston, SC with my Irish-American husband. I have been here for over 10 years. After quitting a Ph.D in History, I became the executive pastry chef of a local French restaurant where I stayed for 6 years. I bake and cook for patrons either privately or during catering functions. My first pastry cookbook which will be released in Fall 2009 (Fleming Ink Publishers) for which I did the recipe writing, food styling and food photography. I am also a regular contributor to Desserts Magazine where I often write about the ins and outs of French traditional desserts like soufflés or macarons.
CLICK HERE for Helen’s recipe for Bacon and Onion Tartlets after the jump…
Bacon and onion tartlets:
Makes six 3-inch tartlets or one 9-inch tart
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small slices
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
Mix together the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture and toss with fork until moistened. Repeat with the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time and gather the dough into a ball with your hand. Do not handle the dough too long. Wrap into a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to relax and make it easier to roll, keeping it from becoming tough. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface, applying pressure from the center to the edges until it is about 12 inches in diameter. Cut out six 4 inch circles onto the dough and press them into the tartlet pans (or one 9 inch pan if making a larger tart). Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
6 slices bacon
4 stalks green onion, sliced, white and green parts included
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups milk
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, cook the bacon slices until crispy brown. Drain them on a paper towel. Crumble them and set aside. Wipe the pan of the bacon dripping with a paper towel and place it back over medium heat and cook the green onion for a couple of minutes, just to take the raw edge off. Divide the bacon, onion and parsley evenly among the tartlets and place them on a baking sheet.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until combined and slowly pour the mixture over the tartlets. Divide the cheese evenly in between the tarts and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Individual sizes bake faster than a whole pie so keep an eye on them after 20 minutes. Let cool before unmolding and serving.
These are best at room temperature with a salad and a simple vinaigrette.
Why Helen chose this recipe:
I love tartlets, as my blog name indicates and one thing that French people love to make as an easy and casual meal is a savory tart or quiche with a side salad. It was our Saturday night dinner growing up and still is even though I am miles away from my family. The crust and the egg filling are a simple springboard for all your favorite fillings and spices. I like variations like salmon, dill and leeks, ground beef, oregano and fresh tomatoes, sausage, rosemary and spinach….the possibilities are quite endless once you let your taste buds let the ingredients come together.
[Photo of Helen by Melissa Haneline]