French Onion Soup Pie (for Lovers)

Taking the timeless French soup and turning it into a tasty pie recipe. The French onion soup pie is crowned with a puff pastry lid with melted Gruyère beneath.

Introduction

This pie is filthy. It is so rich and intense that it must be shared. It’s made to dive into and get messy. There is a Gruyère surprise in the puff pastry lid and it’s a killer when the pastry falls into the soup and the cheese oozes out. Ooh là là!

Serves 2 (makes 1 huge soup pie, to share)

Ingredients

For the filling:
1 tbsp butter
A glug of olive oil
500g onions, peeled and finely sliced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp sugar
1½ tbsp plain flour
450ml boiling beef stock (made from 1 stock cube)
1 tsp wine vinegar
1 tbsp Cognac
For the puff pastry:
150g puff pastry
30g Swiss or Gruyère cheese slice
1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp cold water, for egg-washing and glazing

Essential kit

You will need a 1 x 16.5cm-wide x 9cm deep pudding bowl.

Instructions

First make the filling. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry them for 15 minutes with the lid on. Add the salt, pepper and sugar and fry for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a dark golden colour.

Add the flour, mixing it into the onions to ensure there are no lumps. Pour in the stock and vinegar, place the lid half over the pot and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.

While you wait for your onions to simmer, get on with rolling the pastry. This is a rare recipe where you don’t have to wait until all the ingredients are cold before you assemble your pie.

Cut your block of pastry in half and roll out 2 sheets of pastry to roughly the thickness of a pound coin (about 2mm). Layer the 2 sheets on top of one other. Turn the pudding bowl upside down on to the pastry and cut around the rim with a sharp knife. Remove the bowl and scraps and set aside one of the pastry circles.

Place a cheese slice in the centre of the other pastry circle and egg-wash the pastry around the cheese. Lay the other pastry circle over the top, so that the cheese is sandwiched between two circles of pastry. Prick a few holes in your cheesy pastry packet, and egg wash the top. This is your pie lid.

Bake your pie lid on a floured tray in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove when puffed up and golden.

When your onion soup is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the Cognac. Ladle the soup into a warm bowl and pop the pastry lid on top like a giant cheesy crouton.

Hand out big spoons and devour immediately.

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