Week 102: Thick onion tart

 Some friends were over for dinner this weekend to savour the generous cheese spread I lugged back from my recent work trip to Malta. Since it has been a while since I last baked a tart, I thought it’d be nice for my dinner guests. I was torn between doing a classic quiche Lorraine or trying something different. Finally, after much reading and deliberating, I decided to give this onion tart from Delia Smith a go.

Makes a deep 7-inch round tart

For the pastry

110g plain flour, and a little more for rolling

50g unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Pinch of salt

20g grated cheddar

20g grated Parmesan

1/2 tsp dry mustard powder

Pinch of cayenne

1 tsp lemon juice

2 to 3 tbsp cold water

1) To make the pastry, place all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and give it a few pulse.

2) Add the cold butter and pulse until mixture becomes grainy and you see pieces of butter slightly smaller than peas.

3) Add the lemon juice followed by 1 tbsp of cold water. Pulse. You should be looking for a mixture that looks like wet sand. If mixture is still dry, add 1/2 tbsp cold water and process. Do this slowly so you don’t end up with a overly wet dough, which would be a nightmare to handle.

4) Spread a generous piece of clingwrap on your work top and empty the content of the food processor onto it. Gently gather into a dough, then wrap tightly into a disc using the clingwrap. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

5) Set a large piece of parchment on your work top. Lightly flour the parchment and the rolling pin. Set the cold pastry in the middle of the parchment and roll it out into a round of about 4mm thickness. Try to work quickly.

6) Transfer the pastry onto the tart tin and press the edges in gently and quickly. Trim the extra pastry a little more than the tart tin and fold the extra pastry over the side of the tin.

7) Freeze the pastry in the tin for at least an hour.

8) Preheat a convection oven at 190c.

9) Blind bake the tart pastry for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. I used tin foil to cover the tart pastry. Then remove the foil and the weights, brush pastry with a little beaten eggs (from the fillings) and bake for a further 7 to 8 minutes until lightly browned.

For the filling

800g yellow onions

50g salted butter

3 large eggs, beaten

150ml heavy cream

Grated Parmesan

1) Prepare the onions by cutting them length-wise, following the onion peels as much as you can.

2) Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Then add the cut onions to the saucepan, turning it around so as to coat the onions with the butter.

3) Leave to cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring it every 5 minutes or so.

4) Onions should be lightly browned. If not, turn the heat up and cook until browned and caramelised.

5) Add the heavy cream to the beaten egg and season with salt and black pepper. Whisk to combine.

6) Preheat a convection oven at 180C.

7) Spread half the onions onto the baked tart pastry then pour half of the cream mixture. Follow this by the rest of the onions and cover with the rest of the cream mixture.

7) Grate the Parmesan over the tart filling.

8) Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the filling is puffed and lightly browned. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding the tart.

The tart is delicious! And the crust – wow! I am very pleased to have yet another delicious tart recipe in my entertaining routine.

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