The recipe for this caramelized onion, fennel, and apple tart came from a random brainstorming session while decompressing after a long morning at work. I was taking a second to sit in my car, listen to music, and look at my list of recipe ideas. I had the idea written down for “fennel and apple” on my list for a while now after enjoying the combination of fennel and apple together in a couple dishes over the years. But that was all I had written down so I had to build it from there. Since I had to make an appetizer for Thanksgiving that following week, I decided fennel and apple were going to become the stars of an appetizer. To further enhance the savory and sweet combination of fennel and apple, I decided caramelized onions would be a great addition. And Gruyere cheese to hold it together and help balance it out with it’s salty and nutty flavors!
This caramelized onion, fennel, and apple tart appetizer starts with cooking down the onions to a deep caramelized color and then adding in the fennel and apple and sautéing until soft. The pan is then deglazed with a little white wine and the mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper. This can also be done up to 3 days ahead of time to save you time on the day you serve it. When you’re ready to serve, the sheet of thawed puff pastry is rolled out to a 9×13 rectangle, sprinkled with Gruyere cheese, and topped with the fennel, apple, and onion mixture. Then you pop it in the oven and it’s baked to golden, crispy perfection in about 20 minutes!
Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Fennel TartCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Easy
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons of butter
1 onion, halved and sliced (think half moon shape)
1 fennel bulb, halved and sliced (think half moon shape)
1 apple, halved and sliced (think half moon shape)
¼ cup of white wine
1 cup of Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Lightly roll out puff pastry into a large rectangle about 9×13 and place on a baking sheet.
- Heat butter in a large cast iron or sauté pan with a cover over medium heat until melted and beginning to get foamy.
- Add onions and lower heat to low and add onions. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft and beginning to caramelize.
- Add fennel and apple and bring heat up to medium. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add white wine. Stir in white wine scraping any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for an additional 10 minutes covered.
- Sprinkle pastry with cheese and then spread fennel, onion, and apple mixture on top leaving about ¼ inch border on the edge.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown and flakey. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving!
- If you cannot find Gruyere cheese, you can substitute for Pecorino, Parmesan, or Swiss.
- The fennel, apple, and onion filling can be made up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge.