I love this time of year. Fall is just beginning, the temperature are cooling down, and the leaves are starting to change colors (at least for you people outside of Lubbock who have actual foliage). Texas weather will be like a Katy Perry song for the next month or so (hot and then cold, yes and then no), but this time of the year just feels magical. One perk around this time of year in Texas are the many county fairs that pop up.
I missed Lubbock’s county fair last year, but this year I definitely plan to hit it up. State fairs are great for many reasons- one particularly is the snackage. Deep fried wonderfulness and plenty of chances to spill powdered sugar all over yourself. No need to sit down for a meal, just buy a bunch of snacks, walk around, people watch, go on the Ferris wheel, and have fun.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Denise’s blog, Creative Kitchen Adventures. Lots of good recipes there to choose from- take a look around. Being a snack-fiend, I was immediately drawn to her appetizer section. These tartlets are definitely a little bit fancier fare than county fair food, but sometimes we got to class it up around here. And the only real way to class up my life is through bite-sized appetizers.
The combo of toppings on these tartlets is fall perfection: sweet caramelized onion, meaty mushrooms, sweet apples with a little bit of bit sugar, and lots of cheese. Put this on top of buttery puff pastry, and you will immediately feel like you have died and gone to heave. And you will be at peace with your premature death.
No need to wait for a party to make these (although they are great finger food), just make a bunch and call it dinner. Class.
Then wash it all down with a corn dog, some cotton candy, deep fried Oreos, and lots of powdered sugar. Because it’s fall.
CARAMELIZED ONION, MUSHROOM, AND APPLE TARTLETS
Adapted from Creative Kitchen Adventures
4 tablespoons butter, divided
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 large apple, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 ounces Gruyere/Fontina cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 sheets puff pastry (1 pound total)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large skillet melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer onions to a bowl. In the same pan melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-12 minutes, until softened and liquid has evaporated. Add mushrooms to bowl with onion.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan and add apple and sugar. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add to mushrooms and onions. Let cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in thyme, Gruyere, and chives. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Place a sheet of puff pastry on each baking sheet. Cut each sheet into 16 squares with a pizza cutter. Arrange tartlets so they are spaced apart and brush with beaten egg. Top each tarltlet with 1 tablespoon of the filling. Bake for 25-27 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pans halfway through.
Makes 32 tartlets.