I bought one of those value bags of onions the other week.
And I still seemed to have a huge bagful of onions in the kitchen this morning. What to do? Well the first obvious recipe was french onion soup. I have several recipes for french onion soup, but for some reason went for a new recipe: Nigel Slater’s Onion Soup with Madeira and Gruyere Toasts. The picture of it looks oozingly and unctiously dark and delicious. But mine wasn’t. He uses chicken stock instead of the traditional beef. I have no problem with this – I’ve often made onion soup with chicken stock. But I’ve no idea how he managed to get his soup so dark in colour, without a beef stock, as mine is light in colour, as you’d expect.
But, we didn’t have onion soup for lunch. And the dough for the baps remained in the bread machine till later in the afternoon.
And I got started on a better lunch solution: Cheese and Onion Tart. This was clearly a far more sensible lunch, as it made use of not only a whole load of onions, but also some leftover cream, leftover pastry and a lump of cheese from the fridge. I love a fridge-sweep to make something new, delicious and unexpected. Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?
Cheese and caramelised onion tart
- Shortcrust pastry made with 4oz flour
- a big glug of olive oil
- a big slice of butter, about 25g
- 4 large onions, cut in half from end to end, and then thinly sliced into half moons
- 2 soupspoonfuls of muscovado sugar
- 1 egg, plus 2 extra yolks
- about 200ml cream
- about 50ml whole milk
- 2 soupspoonfuls of cream cheese
- 50g mature cheddar cheese
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat your oven to 200C or GM7. Butter a sponge sandwich tin (well, that’s what I used, a 23cm round tin with a loose bottom).
- Roll out the pastry and line the tin with it. Place the tin on top of a baking sheet – it’ll make everything so much easier later on. Put back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Prick the base with a fork, then cover the pastry with some baking paper and baking beans. Put in the hot oven for 12 minutes.
- Remove the baking beans, turn the oven down to 180C / GM4 and return the pastry to the oven for 5 minutes.
- While the pastry is in the oven (for the first time) put the oil, butter and onions in a heavy bottomed frying pan and heat on an oh so gentle heat for 25 minutes with the lid on. You might want to stir them from time to time, but not too often, as you need to keep the lid on to retain their liquid. After 25 minutes they should still be pale in colour, but have a certain sticky gloopiness about them.
- Now remove the lid from the onions, stir in the sugar, and cook the onions for a further 10 – 15 mins, till nicely caramelised, and the liquid has all but evaporated.
- Whisk the egg and the yolks together in a big bowl. Add the cream cheese, the cream and the milk and mix. Add the grated cheddar, and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Spread the base of the pastry case with the dijon mustard.
- Pick the thyme leaves off the stems and fold them through the onions, then spread on top of the mustard
- Pour the cheesy, eggy, creamy mix over the top of the onions and carefully slide the whole thing into the oven.
- Bake for about 35 minutes – the tart should still have a wee bit of a wibble wobble about it.
Serve with boiled new potatoes and a salad. It’s best at room temperature, or a wee bit warmer.
- Baaaah! Goat’s cheese and red onion tart (blackcatoriginals.wordpress.com)
- What to cook for Friday night? A deliciously, crisp, light pastry, Sweet-tasting caramelised Onion Tart…with a glass of with, a perfect combination (katyarichkitchen.com)