1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
2 tablespoons shortening
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup dried apricots, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large red onions, coarsely chopped (3 cups)
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
For pastry, place flour, sugar, if using, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cut 6 tablespoons butter and the shortening into small pieces and add to food processor. Cover and pulse mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Working quickly, start processor and add ice cold water. Using your hands, flatten into a disk (dough will be soft). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 450°F Remove dough from refrigerator; do not soften. On a well-floured surface roll out dough to a 12-inch circle. Transfer pastry to an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press edges into sides of pan. Line pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 4 minutes more or until bottom appears dry. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Meanwhile, for the filling, place the sherry in a small bowl; add apricots. Cover and let stand about 30 minutes or until apricots are plumped.
In a very large skillet heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook 20 to 30 minutes or until onions are very soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the apricot mixture to skillet. Return to heat; bring to boiling. Cook, uncovered, until sherry is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in honey, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, and the pepper.
Place the cream, egg yolks, pine nuts, and thyme in a large bowl; whisk until combined. Fold in onion mixture. Transfer mixture to pastry-lined tart pan. Place tart pan on prepared baking sheet. Bake about 35 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pan on wire rack 20 minutes. Carefully remove tart from pan. Serve warm. Makes 12 appetizer servings.