It’s true: happiness comes from simple things, and is found when you least expect it. Just like this french onion tart. Get ready for a slice of happiness!
Don’t let the “french” and “tart” in the title scare you — it is anything but. As for the ingredients, I’m sure they are already in your larder as they were in mine. And soon enough, with minimal effort (cutting up onions is the only hard work you’ll have to do) you’ll have before you an aromatic fetching golden yellow french onion tart that is simple remarkable.
It is remarkable simple because all the flavours perform a staccato rhythm on your tongue, making it do a jig really — and instantly revealing that this is a phenomenal combination of flavours. The saltiness and the nuttiness in the cheese combine with the smoky tartness and sweetness of the onions — and when this soft, lightly crunchy and cheesy filling comes wrapped in a lovely light and buttery pastry, the textures take the sensation to a higher level.
You can make the pastry ahead of time or the previous night and keep it in the fridge. You could also make the filling and keep it in the fridge the previous night. The next day, you can just roll the pastry out and assemble the filling and bake the tart. This french onion tart — that I’ve adapted this recipe from Easy Cooking | Baking — makes for a pretty filling brunch or great party food. Your guests will definitely not believe you when you list out the ingredients.
The simplicity of the ingredients do not prepare you for the complexity of the flavours. And when you’re caught up in that moment, you realise that you are happy. Happy to be savouring a simple yet truly remarkable french onion tart at home.
Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go get a slice of happiness.
French Onion Tart
Quick Flaky Pastry
175 g / 6 oz flour
125 / 4 oz butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chilled water
4 large onions, thinly sliced
175 g / 6 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
A little milk, to brush the rim with
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Place the butter and a mixing bowl in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Sift the flour and salt in the chilled bowl, and grate the butter atop the sifted flour using the course side of a grater. Dip the butter in the flour every now and then to prevent the butter from sticking to the grater.
- Using a pastry cutter or a knife, mix the butter into the flour. Ensure that all the butter is coated with flour.
- Add 1/4 cup chilled water and continue to mix.
- Then, adding very little water at a time (if needed), mix with your hands till the flour leaves the bowl.
- Press it to form a ball and wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- While the pastry chills, you can now thinly slice the onions.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet and fry the onions for 10 minutes over medium flame.
- Add the white wine vinegar and sugar — mix it in, increase the flame, and continue to stir for 6 more minutes until the onions are a deep caramel colour.
- Let it continue to to cook for 5 more minutes, then turn of the heat and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/GM 6.
- Take the pastry out and roll out the pastry to a 35.5 cm / 14 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Then wrap it around your rolling pin and place it on a baking sheet.
- Now, sprinkle on half the grated cheese over the pastry, leaving a 5 cm / 2 inch border all around the edge.
- Spoon over the caramelised onions evenly over the cheese.
- Fold the edge of the pastry over onto the edge of the filling, and brush it with some milk.
- Sprinkle the pepper and salt.
- Over this sprinkle the remainder of the cheese and bake for 28 minutes.
- Remove the french onion tart from the baking sheet and transfer it to a large plate and serve immediately.
Serving: Serve hot.