For pastry bases
- 12 oz. frozen puff pastry thawed
For sweet onion topping
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 large onions peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 40 white anchovies in oil, drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil for drizzling
- small flat-leaf parsley sprigs
Make sweet onion topping
Melt the butter in a medium pan. Add the onions, garlic and a pinch of salt, and fry gently until the onions begin to soften. Turn the heat down to very low and cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes so the onions caramelize slowly. Stir from time to time to prevent them from sticking and burning. When ready, they will be deep brown and taste very rich and sweet. Set aside to cool.
Make pastry bases
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll out the pastry to 1/4 inch thickness and cut four 8″ x 4″ rectangles. Place these on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
Spoon the sweet onions onto the pastry bases and spread gently and thinly, leaving a 1/4″ border around the edges. Bake until well risen and golden brown at the edges, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Turn the oven down to 400 F.
Arrange the anchovies on the tarts in a criss-cross fashion.
Return the tarts to the baking sheet. Cut four paper rectangles, slightly larger than the tarts. Lay the paper on top, against the skin of the anchovies. Reheat in the oven for 6-8 minutes until the paper is very hot to the touch; don’t let it burn. Remove the paper and lift the tarts onto a cutting board. Cut into small squares to serve as a canape. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with parsley, and serve warm.
Makes 32 small canapes.
As a starter, lunch, or supper
The beauty of this dish is that it can be upsized easily. For a starter to serve 8, simply halve the rectangular tarts to give larger squares. For a lunch or supper to serve 4-6, make one large rectangular tart. Cut into generous slices and serve with a leafy salad. The cutting of the pastry is flexible and you can intersperse the anchovies with small black olives to vary the topping.
Recipe adapted from Appetizers by Shane Osborn.