Cheese and Onion Tart
I hope this post finds you all well and not too blue about it being Monday once again!
Today I have something savoury to share with you for a change. I don’t bake savoury things a great deal but this is one I do all the time. This Cheese and Onion tart is super easy and great eaten hot or cold, with salad, or as part of a buffet lunch. It’s very versatile and you can add other things like spinach or bacon but I’m just going to give you the bog standard version here and, let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with the Cheese and Onion combo!
This recipe is a little bit more labour intensive than my usual offering but it is easy if you just follow it step by step. Don’t rush it if it’s your first time making a tart like this and, once you’ve done it a few times you’ll be able to whip it up whilst doing other things and add your own flavour spins on it.
You Will Need:
For the Pastry:
225g Plain Flour
For the Filling:
1 Big Onion
150g Strong Cheddar Cheese
24cm Fluted Tart Tin
You need to start by making the pastry. Put your flour into a bowl and add the butter to it, in small cubes. Use a knife to cut the butter up into the flour.
Once you’ve got it as small as you can with the knife then start rubbing it in with your fingertips. Once it looks like breadcrumbs you can stop rubbing. You want to mix in some very cold water a tablespoon at a time. I normally end up using about 5 tablespoons but this may vary. Keep adding slowly until the pastry all just comes together.
Press this into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap this in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for half an hour. If you are short on time you can pop it into the freezer for around five or ten minutes until its cold through but not frozen.
Once your pastry is nice and cold, roll it out onto a floured surface until it is about the thickness of a pound coin. Use this pastry to line your tart tin, pressing it right into the edges and corners. Leave the excess bits overhanging the tin as this will help to stop the pastry sinking down inside the tin.
Prick the base lightly with a fork but make sure you don’t go all the way through! Lay a sheet of baking paper over the top of your pastry case and fill this with baking beans. You can also use something like dry beans or rice here as long as it weighs the paper down and you spread whatever you use right into the edges.
Pop this onto a baking tray and into a pre-heated oven at 200°C and bake for 15-20 minutes until it is nearly completely cooked. Then remove the paper and beans and bake for an extra 5-10 minutes until the pastry case is golden all over.
Whilst your pastry is cooking then you can make the filling. Whisk your eggs lightly so that they become smooth and there are no separated bits of whites or yolks left. Whisk the cream into this and season with salt and pepper as well as some mixed dry herbs if you have them.
Take your onion and slice it a few times right through so that you will have a few complete rings – these make nice decoration for the top of the tart. Chop the rest of your onion as finely as you can – I think big chunks of onion aren’t particularly nice in this tart so try and keep the chop small.
Pop the chopped onions into a frying pan and sweat them gently until they are all softened and cooked. You don’t want to colour them at all here, just cook them through so make sure you go nice and gently with the heat. Once cooked, then pop them in a bowl to cool a little.
You can then put your rings of onion in the pan but you don’t want to cook these as much – basically just take the raw edge of them but you don’t want them to go too soft and lose their shape. Set these aside too.
Once the pastry is cooked, take it out of the oven and turn it down to 180°C. Trim the pastry round the edge of the tart tin with a sharp knife and get rid of the excess edge bits you have cut off.
Grate your cheese and add this, along with the chopped onions, into the egg mixture, giving it a good stir through.
Pour this into your trimmed pastry case, make sure it is all level and then lay your onion rings on top of the mixture in whatever pattern you like. Now you just need to put this (with a steady hand!) back into the oven.
This should need about 15 minutes to bake. You want a nicely browned golden top that has set. If your oven is slightly uneven you might want to turn it half way through to get an even browning – you can see from the photos that I forgot to do this so don’t worry if you do to! Once the tart is baked, take it out of the oven and transfer from the tin onto a wire cooling rack OR, serve it straight up!!
I prefer this warm or cold as opposed to piping hot I have to say but honestly, it’s great at any temperature! You can serve this as a light dinner or have it ready for lunch boxes for everyone during the week – It is versatile and a savoury delight!
I hope you try this out, let me know how it turns out if you do.