Bacon and Goat Cheese Free-Form Tart

Bacon and Goat Cheese Free-Form Tart Recipe

The cornmeal in the crust adds a nutty crunch and complements the smoky, salty bacon and fresh goat cheese. The tart makes a perfect light lunch or supper, with a green salad.–Melissa Pasanen

Bacon and Goat Cheese Free-Form Tart Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 4 as a main course

Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow or white cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cold and cut into 4 chunks
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling
  • 8 slices (about 1/2 pound) thick-cut bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds (about 4 large) onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
  • Milk, for brushing the crust

Directions

  • Make the crust
  • 1. Cut the butter into small cubes and freeze for at least 15 minutes.
  • 2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, blend the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Add the cream cheese and process for about 20 seconds, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until no butter is larger than the size of a pea. Add the ice water and process for about 30 seconds, or until a pinch of the dough holds together. If it doesn’t, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.
  • 3. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead just until it holds together in one piece. Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. (If you chill it much longer, give it time to warm up a little before rolling it out.)
  • Make the filling
  • 4. While the dough is chilling, cook the bacon in a saute pan or skillet until it is about halfway cooked. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  • 5. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Put the pan with the remaining bacon fat back over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then the sliced onions and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the onions slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are deep golden brown and caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes.
  • 6. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the second-lowest position. On a nonstick baking mat or piece of parchment paper, roll the chilled dough into a rough circle about 1/8 inch thick and 14 to 16 inches in diameter. (The edges do not have to be smooth and neat.) Lift the baking mat with the crust onto a cookie sheet.
  • 7. Spread the caramelized onions over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Coarsely chop the bacon and sprinkle it evenly over the onions, followed by the thyme leaves, and finally the goat cheese. Fold the edges of the crust in over the filling, pleating the edges as necessary. Brush the crust with milk.
  • 8. Bake the tart for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Variation

  • The onion and bacon base also works well with cooked diced beets, raw diced apple or blue cheese. Or substitute diced ham for the bacon and add lightly steamed or microwaved cubes of butternut squash, or pumpkin, and goat cheese. Skip the bacon for a vegetarian tart.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Leanne Abe

Jul 18, 2007

This tart got an overwhelming “Wow,” even from me! It may be the cream cheese, but this was one of the nicest tart doughs to work with; and I appreciate the tip to roll it out onto the baking mat and just place the whole thing onto the baking sheet (way easier than transferring dough from the counter to the baking sheet). Bacon, of course, makes everything better and it just rounded out the onions and goat cheese. The crust became flaky but also smooth, with that occasional cornmeal crunch. It’s such a simple idea, but it looks great coming out of the oven, tastes wonderful and is so versatile. We ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it never seemed out of place.

Testers Choice
TeAntae Turner

Jul 18, 2007

For something so simple, this dish is a true pleaser. Bright, rich flavors that complemented each other nicely. I felt like I should be sitting in a pub somewhere in the UK. This, with the recommended salad, makes a wonderful lunchtime meal. I was even able to lightly warm it up the following day with out ill effects.

Testers Choice
Jeremy Schweitzer

Jul 18, 2007

I’ve been making a nearly identical tart for some time, but I was intrigued by the crust. It came together beautifully and, overall, the tart was well received, but I’m not sure how much the cornmeal actually added. I think, in the future, I would try increasing the cornmeal amount. The flavor combination was spot on—I’ve not added thyme to my onion tarts before, and I intend to use it consistently in the future. This isn’t the most original recipe, for sure, but for a fun, simple lunch (with a green salad), this tart is hard to beat.

Okay, who doesn’t like caramelized onions, bacon, and goat cheese? Put these together and you’ve got a party in your mouth. This was even more amazing than I imagined. The crust had a nice crunch from the cornmeal, the bacon added the salt, the caramelized onions the sweet, and the goat cheese the tart. I sprinkled some fleur de sel over my slice after taking a bite and feeling like it needed a little more seasoning. That’s the way to go, rather than adding more salt in the cooking process. It was truly delicious. I could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting. And for once, it looked exactly like the picture! This is one recipe I will definitely make for guests.

Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Jul 18, 2007

Just what I expected. Salty, savory, rich, and flaky all at once. The pastry was particularly easy to put together and it handled beautifully. It was a great brunch dish, with a little salad on the side. I may fiddle with the proportions a bit next time— more cheese, less bacon—but this will definitely be on the menu again soon.

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