Caramelised Onion and Gruyère Tart

A divine cheese and onion tart recipe from Annabel Karmel. Making for the perfect vegetarian picnic addition, this savoury tart features tasty Gruyère cheese.

Introduction

This is my favourite recipe for quiche and the slow cooking of the onions gives them a delicious flavour. The pastry takes only a few minutes to make in a food processor, but you could use bought shortcrust pastry instead.

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the pastry:
225g (8oz) plain flour
A pinch of salt
½ tsp mustard powder
1 egg
1 tbsp water
For the filling:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
15g (½oz) butter
500g (1lb 2oz) onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp thyme leaves
4 eggs
300ml (½ pint) milk
150g (5¼oz) Gruyère, grated
25g (1oz) Parmesan, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Essential kit

You will need a food processor and a deep, loose-bottomed flan tin.

Instructions

Put the flour, salt and mustard powder in a food- processor and process until the mixture resembles soft breadcrumbs. Gradually add the egg and enough water to form a good consistency. Press into a ball with your hands and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220°C /425°F/gas 7.

To make the filling, heat the vegetable oil and the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the onions over a fairly high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the thyme leaves about 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time for the onions. Lower the heat and cook for a further 20 minutes, cover with non-stick baking paper, and stir occasionally until the onions are caramelised. Season with a little salt. Lightly beat the eggs, stir in the milk and the grated Gruyère. Season with a little pepper and stir in the caramelised onions.

Grease a deep, loose-bottomed flan tin. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough and line the base and sides of the flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry and bake blind in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and the beans, turn down the temperature to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 and cook for a further 5 minutes. Spoon the onion mixture into the flan case and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes.

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