Free-form onion and herb tart


onion tart 1I love making tarts and quiches, but sometimes the effort involved in preparing the pastry, lining the tin, blind baking, cooking the ingredients, filling, baking, blah blah, puts me off slightly. It’s fine when you have all afternoon and nothing better to do, but not when time is short.

So when I spotted one of these on Pinterest I thought – of course, why didn’t I think of that? I’ve made a fruit version of this lots of times before, it’s what I usually call a ‘one crust pie’. You roll out the pastry, dump the fruit in the middle and bring up the sides, bake, ta-dah! Not the prettiest looking pie/tart, but tastes just as good, so if you’re not out to impress anyone with aesthetics, it’s a huge time-saver. But I’d oddly never considered making a savoury version.

Okay, you still need some time on this to slice a couple of onions, and then gently, slowly cook the onions down, but it’s not a great effort. I also confess I bought a block of pastry, which I never normally do, just to save a bit more time. I won’t lose any sleep over it.

This uses the first of our onions that were planted as sets back in the autumn and have been growing over winter. They weren’t left to dry out, so were used ‘wet’ or ‘green’ as they’re called. This means they are slightly milder in flavour, but they still managed to make my eyes water! We had this with pork and leek sausages and asparagus (sadly not my own – next year) and some of my homemade apple jelly.

Ingredients are listed in bold. My own recipe.

  1. If making your own shortcrust pastry, follow the link here for my standard shortcrust pastry recipe, and place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Slice 2 largish onions as thinly as you can.
  3. Strip the leaves from a few stalks of thyme, and/or chop some chives.
  4. Heat a shallow pan and add a splash of oil and a knob of butter.
  5. Turn the heat down and cook the onions for around 30 mins until soft and slightly caramelised.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of creme fraîche (or double cream) the herbs and if you like a bit of cheese (I had some stilton to use up so threw that in) season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Roll out the pastry into a large circle. I found it helpful to use a plate as a guide to the size I wanted the tart, and then you’ll need roughly a 2 inch border. Transfer to a parchment lined baking tray.
  8. Spread the onions over the central circle, then bring the sides up, overlapping as you go.
  9. Brush with a little beaten egg and bake (around 180ºc) for about 40 mins or until golden.

onions and garlic onion tart raw onion tart 2

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