Onion tart heaven

Is there anything better than the smell of frying onions? If that is your thing, you will love this tart. For me, it combines two of my favourite things: fried onions and cheese. The smell in the kitchen is guaranteed to make you hungry. In fact, it is so sweet I could eat a slice instead of cake!  plateful 31-7-14 (2)For the cheese pastry [enough for a 20cm flan tin with fluted edges and removable base]:-
50g self-raising flour
50g wholemeal flour
A pinch of salt
½ tsp mustard powder
50g butter, cold
40g grated Cheddar, or other hard cheese
Cold water, to mix
For the filling:-
700g onions, chopped fairly small
50g butter
2 eggs, beaten
110g double cream or natural yogurt or milk
1 tbsp grated Cheddar
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4, with a baking sheet placed on the centre shelf. baking tin 31-7-14Lightly-grease your flan tin.

First, make the pastry as it needs to be set aside in the fridge to chill. Sift the flours, salt and mustard powder into a mixing bowl, then rub in the fat until the mixture becomes crumbly. Then stir in the grated cheese, and add enough cold water [out of the fridge] to make a dough that leaves the dough clean [we needed 1 tsp]. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. onions, frying pale 31-7-14Make the filling while the pastry is in the fridge. Melt the butter in a thick-based saucepan, add the chopped onions and stir to coat them in butter. Cook uncovered over a medium heat for about 30 minutes until they have reduced and turned a deep brown. Stir occasionally to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pan. If at the end they haven’t turned a deep almost mahogany-brown, turn up the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes. onions, frying browned 31-7-14Now, finish the pastry case. Roll out the pastry to line the flan tin, we find the easiest way to do this is to lay the lump of pastry on one layer of cling film and put another on top.

Prick the base with a fork, place it on the pre-heated baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, brush the inside of the pastry case with a little beaten egg [from the filling]. Return to the oven for five minutes, then remove from the oven. pastry case in tin 31-7-14tip onions into pastry case 31-7-14Transfer the onion mixture to the pastry case. Whisk the eggs thoroughly with the cream and Cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the onion filling, and sprinkle the grated Parmesan on top. add egg mix to tart 31-7-14ready to go into the oven 31-7-14Put the flan tin onto the baking sheet [in case of spillage in the oven] and bake for 30 minutes until the filling is golden-brown and puffy. Serve straight from the oven if possible [though it does reheat rather well the next day]. just out of the oven 31-7-14For the courgette version of this tart, click here.

5 to remember
el cielo – the heaven
tengo hambre – I am hungry
tiene hambre – he is hungry
tenemos hambre – we are hungry
una versión – a version

fennel gratin - delia smiths' complete cookery course 18-8-13


‘Delia’s Complete Cookery Course’ by Delia Smith [BBC Books]

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