Caramelized Onion Brie Tarts

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Caramelized onion brie tarts are a delicious appetizer featuring rich, creamy brie cheese and sweet, golden-brown caramelized onions served on crisp, bite-sized crispy puff pastry.

A wooden cutting board with cheese and onion tarts on it.
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Crispy Creamy Caramelized Onion Brie Tarts

Caramelized onion brie tarts on puff pastry are a symphony of flavors and textures that tantalize the palate. The caramelized onions, with their deep golden color, bring a delightful sweetness and a hint of savory depth, a result of the slow cooking process that draws out the natural sugars of the onions. This sweetness contrasts beautifully with the creamy and slightly tangy flavor of the brie cheese. The brie, with its rich and buttery texture, melts gently into the warm onions, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. The subtle nuttiness of the cheese complements the caramel notes of the onions, making each bite a luxurious experience.

The puff pastry base adds an essential layer of texture and flavor to these tarts. When baked, the pastry puffs up into light, flaky layers that provide a crisp contrast to the soft, melt-in-the-mouth topping of caramelized onions and brie. The buttery taste of the pastry, with its slightly toasted edges, enhances the overall richness of the tart. Every bite combines the crunch of the pastry with the creamy filling, creating a delightful mouthfeel. These tarts are not just a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the senses, with the golden-brown pastry, the glistening caramelized onions, and the soft, inviting texture of the melted brie making them an irresistible appetizer or a decadent treat.

Onion tarts on a wooden cutting board.

How to Make Sweet Onion Brie Bites

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Puff pastry (3 sheets) – Puff pastry offers a light, flaky texture with a rich, buttery flavor, serving as a delicate and crisp foundation.
  • Yellow onions (2) – Yellow onions provide a robust, slightly sweet flavor that deepens and sweetens further when cooked, adding a hearty depth to the tarts.
  • Salted butter (2 tbsp) – Salted butter imparts a creamy, rich taste with a subtle hint of saltiness, enhancing the flavors of ingredients.
  • Balsamic vinegar (1 ½ tbsp) – Balsamic vinegar adds a complex, slightly sweet, and tangy flavor with a hint of woodsy richness, ideal for balancing and enhancing savory tarts.
  • Sea salt (? tsp) – Sea salt offers a clean, straightforward saltiness that enhances the natural flavors of ingredients without the bitterness of iodized salt.
  • Brown sugar (½ tsp) – Brown sugar contributes a deep, molasses-like sweetness, adding a rich, caramelized flavor to the onions.
  • Wheel of Brie Cheese (8oz) – Brie cheese is known for its creamy, rich texture and mild, buttery flavor with earthy undertones, making it a versatile and luxurious addition to these tarts.

Use this Method

Prep. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone nonstick baking sheet. Set aside. 

Caramelize the Onions. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes until deeply brown and they smell sweet. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt, and brown sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes to reach a consistency similar to jam. Set aside to cool. 

Prep the Pastry. Cut the puff pastry into squares. Use a knife, cut an L shape on the bottom and right hand side. Cut another upside down L shape on the other side of each piece. See process picture. Gently place the cut corner over the pastry so it rests on the opposite side. Do the same with the other side. This should have a boat-like effect where each tart now has an outer edge to hold the filling in. In a small bowl whisk the egg with about 1 tsp of water till frothy. Brush each pastry square with the egg wash. 

Assemble and Bake. Place a piece of brie into each tart square then add some caramelized onion on top of the cheese. Place the tarts on the prepared baking sheet then bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the tarts from the oven, some cheese may leak out during cooking which is fine. Enjoy!

A person holding up a piece of a pastry.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Onion Brie Tarts

Selecting Ingredients: Use good quality puff pastry for the best results. For the onions, choose varieties like Vidalia or Walla Walla, known for their sweetness. The brie should be ripe but firm, making it easier to slice and melt beautifully without becoming too runny.

Caramelizing Onions: Patience is key when caramelizing onions. Cook them slowly over low heat to bring out their natural sugars without burning. Adding a pinch of sugar can accelerate this process, but be careful not to overdo it. Stir frequently to ensure even caramelization.

Seasoning: Enhance the flavors with a sprinkle of fresh thyme or rosemary over the tarts before baking. A light dusting of black pepper can add a subtle heat.

Baking to Perfection: Preheat your oven and bake the tarts until the pastry is golden and puffed, and the brie is just melted. Overbaking can cause the cheese to become too runny and the pastry too hard.

Serving: Serve these tarts warm for the best taste and texture. However, they are also delicious at room temperature, making them a great make-ahead appetizer.

Adding a Glaze: For an extra touch of flavor and shine, brush the caramelized onions with a bit of balsamic glaze before baking.

Variations: Feel free to add other ingredients like chopped nuts for crunch, a sprinkle of blue cheese for a sharper flavor, or even some crispy bacon bits for a savory twist.

Storing and Reheating: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven to maintain the pastry’s crispness.

A group of puff pastry with sauce on a wooden board.

FAQs

Can I make these tarts ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the caramelized onions in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Assemble and bake the tarts shortly before serving for best results.

What type of onion is best for caramelizing?

Sweet onions like Vidalia or Walla Walla are ideal for caramelizing due to their high sugar content. However, regular yellow onions also work well.

How do I prevent the puff pastry from becoming soggy?

Prick the pastry with a fork before adding toppings, which allows steam to escape and keeps the pastry crisp. Also, avoid overloading the pastry with too much topping.

How long does it take to caramelize onions?

It typically takes about 30-45 minutes to properly caramelize onions over low heat. The key is to cook them slowly to bring out their natural sweetness without burning them.

Can I add other ingredients to the tarts?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with additions like chopped nuts, bacon bits, or different herbs for varied flavors.

What’s the best way to serve these tarts?

These tarts are best served warm. However, they can also be enjoyed at room temperature, making them a versatile choice for gatherings.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

While brie is a classic choice for its creamy texture, you can use Camembert, goat cheese, or even a sharp cheddar as alternatives.

How should I store leftover tarts?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven to maintain the pastry’s crispness.

A person holding up a piece of cheese puff pastry.

What to Enjoy with These Savory Tarts

Assorted Crackers: A selection of crackers provides a crunchy contrast to the soft, creamy texture of the brie bites.

Sliced Baguette: Toasted or fresh, baguette slices are a classic choice for spreading or topping with brie bites.

Fruit Preserves: Sweet fruit preserves like fig jam or apricot jelly can add a delightful sweetness that complements the savory flavors.

Fresh Fruits: Grapes, sliced pears, or apple slices offer a fresh, juicy contrast to the rich flavors of the bites.

Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, or pecans add a nice crunch and nuttiness that pairs well with the creamy cheese and sweet onions.

Charcuterie: Assorted cured meats like prosciutto or salami can accompany these bites for a fuller appetizer experience.

Olives: A mix of olives provides a salty, briny element that contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the caramelized onions.

Honey or Balsamic Glaze: A drizzle of honey or balsamic glaze over the bites adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of acidity.

Pickled Vegetables: Pickles, gherkins, or pickled onions can add a tangy, sharp flavor to balance the richness of the brie.

Wine: Pair with a light white wine like Chardonnay or a fruity red wine like Pinot Noir to enhance the flavors.

Sparkling Beverages: Champagne or sparkling cider can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the brie bites.

Leafy Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can cleanse the palate between bites.

Try these other appetizers next:

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Onion tarts on a wooden cutting board.
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Caramelized Onion Brie Bites

Caramelized onion brie bites on puff pastry are a delectable appetizer, combining the sweetness of slowly caramelized onions with the creamy richness of brie cheese, all nestled atop flaky, buttery puff pastry.
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Keyword #brie, appetizer, brie wheel, onion, puff pastry tart, savory tart, tarts
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 tarts
Calories 63kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Ingredients

  • 3 rectangular sheets puff pastry thawed in refrigerator
  • 2 yellow onions sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 8 oz wheel of brie

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone nonstick baking sheet. Set aside. 
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes until deeply brown and they smell sweet. 
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, salt, and brown sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes to reach a consistency similar to jam. Set aside to cool. 
  • Cut the puff pastry into squares. Use a knife, cut an L shape on the bottom and right hand side. Cut another upside down L shape on the other side of each piece. See process picture. 
  • Gently place the cut corner over the pastry so it rests on the opposite side. Do the same with the other side. This should have a boat-like effect where each tart now has an outer edge to hold the filling in. 
  • In a small bowl whisk the egg with about 1 tsp of water till frothy.
  • Brush each pastry square with the egg wash. 
  • Place a piece of brie into each tart square then add some caramelized onion on top of the cheese. 
  • Place the tarts on the prepared baking sheet then bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Remove the tarts from the oven, some cheese may leak out during cooking which is fine. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 157IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.2mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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