This is a kind of standby recipe for the Christmas holiday if you’ve got some goats’ cheese and a packet of fresh thyme stashed away in the fridge. You can whip some rolled puff pastry out of the freezer and make this when you need an impromptu light lunch or late supper dish. Caramelised red onions are a great storecupboard standby, too – thanks to English Provender for a great cheats’ ingredient.
2 x 200 g jars English Provender caramelised red onions
4 oz (110 g) Welsh goats’ cheese log
12 small sprigs of fresh thyme and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 x 375 g pack fresh ready-rolled puff pastry
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 375ºF (190ºC).
Just unroll the pastry on to a flat surface and then trim it to make a 9-in (23-cm) square and place the pastry square on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Now what you need to do is take a sharp knife and score the pastry without cutting right through, so you have a cut 1 in (2.5 cm) from the edge all the way round.
Next, take a large fork, prick the pastry all over inside the scored square and brush the whole lot with the beaten egg. hen pop it into the oven on a high shelf for 20 minutes until it has risen and become golden.
Meanwhile, drain the onions and reserve the juice.
Mix the chopped thyme and red wine vinegar into the onions and season them with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
After that, take the sharp knife again and dip it into boiling hot water before slicing the cheese into 12 rounds – cut it in half first, then cut 6 rounds from each half. When the pastry is ready, remove it from the oven and use the back of a fork to press the inner pastry base back down.
Now spread the onions all over, followed by the slices of cheese and place a small sprig of fresh thyme on each slice.
Finally, mix 1 tablespoon of the reserved onion juice with the tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle this all over everything before placing the tart back in the oven for a further 15–20 minutes.