Onion Tart

Standard

Adapted from my new recipe book which I bought after visiting the RealFood Market in London. This would would work perfectly well with any number of combinations of cheese – go with your gut (or what’s in you fridge*).

I had 20 minutes spare in the morning so I made the pastry and left it in the fridge all day before making the filling. It’s a nice way of dividing up the cooking into more manageable chunks.

*or, like me, get one of your family members to pick up necessary ingredients on their way home from work!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Pastry

200g plain flour
100g butter
2-3 tbsp water
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped

Filling

1 large white onion, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
handful of green beans, chopped
3 eggs
250ml cream
100g gruyére, grated
50g mature cheddar, grated
1-2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
several good spoons of savoury chutney
optional: 2 slices ham, sliced (or not if you want this to be vegetarian, though you’ll also be after some vegetarian cheese if that’s the case!)

Method

To make the pastry, sieve the flour (and a little salt) into a mixing bowl and add the butter in chunks. Use your fingers to make “breadcrumbs” before including the garlic and rosemary and several twists of black pepper.  Add the water a little at a time. (I always find it’s better to go slightly wetter with the pastry as too dry will lead to hard to work pastry that cracks easily). Use your hands to combine and knead for about a minute before wrapping in clingfilm and sticking in the fridge for at least half an hour.

When ready to make your tart heat your oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4, roll out your pastry on a floured surface and stick into a deep flan dish (or if you don’t have one, two shallower dishes!). Prick the bottom several times with a fork to allow steam to escape, cover with baking paper and beads if you have them (rice works equally well) and bake for approximately 20 minutes until starting to golden.

Meanwhile, heat a good spoonful of butter in a saucepan and chuck in your leeks. Sweat over a medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the onion and green beans and sweating for a further 5-10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and  reduce the heat to a simmer. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, stir in the cream, a pinch of salt, plenty of pepper the mustard and 2/3 the grated cheese.

When the pastry case is golden, remove from the oven and spread the base with your chutney of choice. Layer over the onion/leek/bean melange (oohlala) then pour over the cream mixture. Apparently if there’s not enough liquid you should add cream rather than egg as more egg will make it too eggy. Makes sense, really. Scatter the top with the remaining cheese. Set the oven to 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6 and whack back in for 25 minutes. Scatter the top with ham and stick back in for 10-15 minutes, until golden on top.

Remove, serve with salad on a hot summer’s day (or a mediocre autumnal evening). Either way it’ll taste de-lish.

J

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