Caramelized Vidalia Onion and Bacon Crostata
2 C. flour
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
8 oz. butter, chilled and cut into pieces
approximately 3/8 C. cold water
10 strips bacon
2 T. olive oil
4 large Vidalia onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thin
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 T. fresh thyme
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. olive oil
In a processor, with a steel blade, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse briefly. Add the butter and pulse to cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add enough water, pulsing, so that the dough just starts to come together. Do not overprocess!
Gather the dough together, flatten, wrap in plastic and chill for several hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Stack the bacon and cut crosswise, 1/2 inch thick. Place in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is rendered and crisp. Remove the bacon, drain on a paper towel and reserve.
Remove excess bacon fat from the pan and add the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Heat the oil and add the onions. Stir and cover the skillet with a lid or foil.
Cook the onions over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic and cook, covered, for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the lid, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring until the onions are golden and lightly caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon, 2 tablespoons of thyme and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (reserve the remaining herbs), and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the onion mixture to cool thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out into a circle approximately 16 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Place on a parchment- lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle the pastry with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Leaving a 3/4- inch border around the outside edge, spread the onion mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the onions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Fold the border up over the onion filling, pleating as necessary, to form a rustic-looking tart.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining chopped herbs.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes one 12-inch crostata.
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