Yeah, I was totally sold on the concept of baking something that would make me "weep with joy" when I saw the recipe for onion tart in my weekly Abel and Cole box. And while it turned out there were no actual tears, it still tasted damn good.
Here's what you need for the pastry: 170g plain white flour, 70g unsalted butter, 1 beaten egg, plus sea salt. And for the filling, you'll need 3 large white onions (sliced finely), 50g unsalted butter, 1 tsp caster sugar, 2 egg yolks, 150ml half‐fat créme fraîche, a handful of fresh thyme leaves, and freshly ground black pepper.
To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and a small amount of cold water (around 2-3 tablespoons) and mix until you have a soft dough. Place into a bowl, cover, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Next up, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onions and sugar, and cook very slowly over a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes. Then add the thyme leaves.
Once the dough has finished chilling, roll it out and place into a lightly buttered tart tin. Having just watched the Jamie's Kitchen episode where Kerryann's chocolate tarts all get stuck to the tins cos she buttered but didn't flour them, I dusted some flour around the tin as well and it worked a treat. The recipe from Abel and Cole suggested a 20cm tin, but mine was 30cm and it worked just fine. Place a circle of greaseproof paper on top of the dough, cover it with baking beans (or regular large dried beans) and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and discard the beans and paper.
By the way, I have no clue what this business with the beans is supposed to accomplish, but I am nothing if not obedient, even though it feels like a fairly bonkers thing to do.
While the pastry is baking, mix the egg yolks with the créme fraîche and some pepper. Drain any fat off the onions, spoon into the pastry case and spread the egg mix across the top. I added some grated parmesan at this stage on the grounds that cheese improves literally everything. Turn the oven up to 190 degrees Celcius and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden on top.
This tart tasted fantastic warm from the oven - and even better cold the next day. Serve with new potatoes and salad, or maybe just rive it out of the pan with your bare hands, as the mood takes you. Abel and Cole think it should serve six people but there's no way I'm sharing something this good with five other peeps. So I'd say it will feed two at a pinch, but only if you really, really like the other person.
What have you cooked recently?
Oh, and if anyone can come up with a foodstuff that would not be improved by the addition of cheese, then I'd love to hear about it :-)