Sweet Vidalia onions with Taleggio cheese and bacon make this a tartlet to be savored.
Line a plate with paper towels. Place a large sautÃ© pan over medium heat, and cook the bacon until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain; set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon grease in pan.
Add onions and sugar to sautÃ© pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and dark brown, about 40 minutes. Add brandy; stir with a wooden spoon.
Add salt, black pepper, red-pepper flakes, apricots, and cooked bacon; stir to combine. Cook until all liquid has evaporated. Add 2 tablespoons thyme leaves. Remove pan from heat, and set onion mixture aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the tartlet shells on a baking sheet. Cut cheese into 24 equal pieces, and place one slice on each tartlet shell. Top cheese in each shell with 1 tablespoon reserved onion mixture.
Transfer baking sheet to oven, and cook until cheese has melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon thyme leaves. Serve immediately.
Taleggio cheese, is Northern Italyâ€™s most refined and sophisticated cheese. It has a reddish brown, edible rind, a soft, white interior, and a meaty, nutty flavor.