I watched another episode of America's Test Kitchen from my Tivo, and this time was inspired to make the French Onion and Bacon Tart. I knew it would take a long time, but the ingredients are mostly household staples so I could make it whenever I had the opportunity without needing to get special ingredients.

This morning T let me sleep in until around 9:30am (since I had been up with the baby overnight) and I was feeling energetic after that, so I decided I'd start cooking and have the tart for lunch. I'm so glad I have the master cookbook with ALL the recipes to-date, since I never have to bother memorizing it from the TV show.

I started preparing this dish around 10:30 am, and it was ready to eat around 12:30pm. It is a fair amount of time to spend on one meal, but I think this tart is dangerously good. Sometimes when I glance down at my waistline I wish I weren't such a good cook. If only it was my nature to make bad-tasting food, I wouldn't want to eat so much!

At first glance you might think this dish would be just like a quiche, but it's not. The dough is pressed into the pan instead of rolled, and it is buttery and r-i-c-h. And the filling is mostly onions with just a little bit of custard to hold it together-- which is the opposite of quiche which is primarily custard with a little bit of filling for flavor.

The ingredients are simple-- the crust uses a stick butter and some flour, the filling consists of 3 onions, a spring of thyme, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup half & half, and 4 slices of bacon, seasoned with salt & pepper. So theoretically, most people could probably make this with ingredients on hand at any time. But the technique is the rub.

It wasn't a full two hours of active cooking time, but it was close, because even when things were cooking slowly (the onions) or in the oven (first the crust by itself, then the whole tart), you had to turn them or check them or cover them and uncover them at varying stages so you had to be in the kitchen every ten minutes even if you didn't have to prep anything during that time.

Nevertheless, I was able to make the whole thing while simultaneously carrying my infant in a moby wrap and watching my 2-year-old play nearby. There's nothing delicate to worry about technique-wise, but there is a lot to do. I would say this is great for company, but only if you can get it done before guests arrive, because I don't see how you'd get the timing right if you were trying to carry on hostess duties while this was being prepared. I might try to figure out the best way to prep parts of this in advance so all I'd have to do when company arrives is the last step, which is assembling the thing then just 25 minutes in the oven.

I served it with a green salad, and it's perfect for brunch or lunch.