Sunday, 28 April 2013

Caramelised Onion Tart with Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic

Another of my favourites, easily adjusted to suit. It's a robust tart which serves 4 to 6 depending on appetites, and is very good at room temperature, too.

A sheet of ready-made short pastry can be used, rolled out a little more thinly maybe, or it can be made by rubbing in 90g softened butter and 130g plain flour then drawing into a dough with a little water. The tart in this picture had a base of ready-made puff pastry, rolled out very thinly.

Total time needed is about 35 minutes to prepare, then 35 minutes to bake. I use a flan dish diameter 21cm, lined with a circle of parchment. The oven should be at 160C, middle shelf, but need not be switched on until you get to state 3 of the method.

Caramelised Onion Tart with Cherry tomatoes and Balsamic

220g approx of short pastry (otherwise puff pastry)
2 tbsp oil (preferably rapeseed or olive)
knob of butter
600g onions (6-7 medium) peeled and coarsely chopped - looks a lot but they reduce on 
2 level tbsp soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
2 medium eggs
120m cream - single or double
3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs - thyme, basil or rosemary
30g grated Cheddar cheese
6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1  Roll out the pastry very thinly to a circle 4cm larger in diameter than the flan dish, then
          place carefully and centrally in the lined dish so the base and sides are covered. 
          Run a knife around the rim of the dish to trim the pastry.
2  Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan, and fry the onions gently for 15 mins, stirring
3  Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 8-10 mins until thickened. Use kitchen
          paper to mop up any remaining liquid.
4  Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly, then use a pastry brush to put a very thin wash of egg 
          on the pastry to help seal it.
5  Place the flan dish in the oven just for 4 minutes. Add the cream, herbs and cheese to 
          the eggs and mix well.
6  Remove the dish from the oven and pile in the onions, spreading evenly. Pour the egg
          mixture over the onions, again spreading the components evenly. Place the tomato
          halves evenly around the edge, then bake for around 30 mins or until the top is
          browned. Remove from the oven, then leave for 5 mins before serving.

Accompaniments could include baby potatoes, tenderstem broccoli, buttered carrots, or whole green beans. A dry white wine goes really well, or a dry cider, otherwise perhaps apple juice.

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