Charred Onion and Swiss Cheese Tart
The sight of a bumper crop of shallots inspired me to make up a variation on my traditional onion tart, using Swiss cheese (Gruyere in this instance). We served it with a plentiful amount of tomato salad tossed with an equally plentiful amount of basil. Vegetarians may like to know a Parmesan 'style' cheese is available from Bookhams
|For the pastry:|
|4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour|
|2 oz (50 g) butter|
|A pinch of salt|
|1 oz (25 g) grated parmesan cheese (Vegetarians: see recipe intro)|
|For the filling:|
|8 oz (225 g) onions, sliced|
|1 teaspoon butter|
|1 teaspoon oil|
|4 oz (110 g) Swiss cheese, grated|
|8 fl oz (225 ml) single cream|
|2 large eggs|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a 7½-inch (19 cm) flan tin, greased.|
This recipe is from A Year in My Kitchen
To make up the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, sprinkle in the parmesan then rub the butter in until the mixture becomes crumbly.
Then add enough cold water to make a dough that leaves the bowl clean. Place the dough in a polythene bag and leave it to rest in the fridge for half an hour or so.
In the meantime, melt the butter and oil in a frying-pan, add the sliced onion and cook over a highish heat, stirring now and then, for about 15 minutes until the slices have softened and charred round the edges.
Then roll out the pastry to line the flan tin, prick the base with a fork and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.
Beat up the eggs (for the filling) and use a little of it to brush the inside of the pastry case, then return it to the oven for a further five minutes. Now spread half the grated cheese over the base of the flan followed by the charred onions.
Spread the rest of the cheese over, whisk the beaten egg with the cream and some seasoning and pour over the top.
Return the tart to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is puffed up and golden brown.
Then remove it from the oven and allow it to settle for about 10 minutes before serving.
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This recipe was kindly given to me by a lady called Christine who lives in Nice. You'd think that when they eat it there it would be made with fresh tomatoes ripened in the Provencal sun - but no, she uses tinned tomatoes and bought puffed pastry.
This tart can also be made with Parmesan pastry, you can also add a tablespoon of finely chopped sage to the filling and arrange sage leaves on the top before it is sprinkled with cheese and baked
It helps if you separate the whites into a cup first before adding them to the bowl, then if one breaks, it won't ruin the rest.
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