French Onion Tart

French onion tart is really delicious. The trick is not to rush cooking its main ingredient, the onions. You have to take it very slowly so that they don’t over caramelize or burn before they get to the oven. I love Vidalia onions for this tart because they are so sweet, but you can use yellow, white, or Spanish onions too. Because the onions take time and I am sometimes impatient, to take my mind off them I usually make the pastry while the onions are slowly cooking themselves into deliciousness.  By the way, onions cooked this way are a classic. They are the start for any onion soup, or totally yummy stirred into homemade beans or a simple tomato sauce.  Enjoy!

AuthorAnn Gaffney
RatingDifficultyAdvanced

Let the onions gradually and gently cook down, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes

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French Onion Tart
Yields-8 Servings
Prep Time40 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 40 mins
 2 tbsp olive oil
 4 large Vidalia onions
 1 bay leak
 2 branches thyme, leaves stripped
 freshly ground black pepper
 4 oz (1 stick) cold sweet butter diced
 1 cup 'white’ whole-wheat flour
 ¾ cup all purpose flour plus extra as needed
 ¼ cup iced water
 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
 sea salt as needed
1

Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the onions, bay leaf, and thyme, if using. Sprinkle with salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Stir to mix.

2

Cook the onions stirring for 2 minutes to coat them with the oil. Lower the heat to medium-low. The onions will release a lot of water as they cook. Let the onions gradually and gently cook down, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes, or until they give up all their water, are reduced in volume by over half, and are soft, a pale gold color with an almost jammy consistency. Remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Set aside

3

Meanwhile make the pastry. You will need a 9” flan tin.

4

Place the cold diced butter into a large bowl. Sift the 2 flours and salt together and add to the butter. Using your fingertips, lightly rub the butter into the flour. Do not overwork. It should have the look of airy coarse breadcrumbs with a few buttery lumps in it. If it is still too clumpy, looking, add another handful of all purpose flour and rub into the mix until it is right.
(If you use a food processor for this part, pulse in short bursts to mix so that the butter isn't overworked into the flour. Tip into a large pastry bowl when it's ready.)

5

Make a well in the flour-butter mixture and add in 2 tablespoons of iced water. Using a dinner knife gradually cut the water into the flour until it starts to ball up. If it looks dry and flaky, sprinkle another tablespoon of ice water over the mixture. Keep cutting until the mixture easily comes together into a rough ball. With your hands, lightly knead the dough into a ball. It should leave the sides of the bowl clean. Form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill 10-15 minutes.

6

Preheat the oven to 375F

7

Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the pastry to snugly fit your flan case. Lay the pastry over it and gently fit the pastry down into the sides of the tin. Blind bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes. (See Ann’s Tips for instructions)

8

Fill the case with the onion mixture, spreading it up to the edges. Return tart to the oven. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese, if using, for extra umami.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until the crust is crisp and lightly browned and the onions golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Ann's Tips
9

To blind bake the crust: Set the pastry shell in its tin on a baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork. Cover pastry shell with foil, gently pressing it against the sides. Top with pie weights (or old dried beans) if you have them, again pushed up against the sides to support the pastry. Put in the preheated oven. Blind bake pastry case for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully lift off the foil and beans. Set aside for re-use.
The case is now ready to fill.
For more on pastry: https://www.annogdengaffney.com/recipes/basic-short-crust-pastry/

Ingredients

 2 tbsp olive oil
 4 large Vidalia onions
 1 bay leak
 2 branches thyme, leaves stripped
 freshly ground black pepper
 4 oz (1 stick) cold sweet butter diced
 1 cup 'white’ whole-wheat flour
 ¾ cup all purpose flour plus extra as needed
 ¼ cup iced water
 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
 sea salt as needed

Directions

1

Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium-high flame. Add the onions, bay leaf, and thyme, if using. Sprinkle with salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Stir to mix.

2

Cook the onions stirring for 2 minutes to coat them with the oil. Lower the heat to medium-low. The onions will release a lot of water as they cook. Let the onions gradually and gently cook down, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes, or until they give up all their water, are reduced in volume by over half, and are soft, a pale gold color with an almost jammy consistency. Remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Set aside

3

Meanwhile make the pastry. You will need a 9” flan tin.

4

Place the cold diced butter into a large bowl. Sift the 2 flours and salt together and add to the butter. Using your fingertips, lightly rub the butter into the flour. Do not overwork. It should have the look of airy coarse breadcrumbs with a few buttery lumps in it. If it is still too clumpy, looking, add another handful of all purpose flour and rub into the mix until it is right.
(If you use a food processor for this part, pulse in short bursts to mix so that the butter isn't overworked into the flour. Tip into a large pastry bowl when it's ready.)

5

Make a well in the flour-butter mixture and add in 2 tablespoons of iced water. Using a dinner knife gradually cut the water into the flour until it starts to ball up. If it looks dry and flaky, sprinkle another tablespoon of ice water over the mixture. Keep cutting until the mixture easily comes together into a rough ball. With your hands, lightly knead the dough into a ball. It should leave the sides of the bowl clean. Form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill 10-15 minutes.

6

Preheat the oven to 375F

7

Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the pastry to snugly fit your flan case. Lay the pastry over it and gently fit the pastry down into the sides of the tin. Blind bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes. (See Ann’s Tips for instructions)

8

Fill the case with the onion mixture, spreading it up to the edges. Return tart to the oven. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese, if using, for extra umami.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until the crust is crisp and lightly browned and the onions golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Ann's Tips
9

To blind bake the crust: Set the pastry shell in its tin on a baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork. Cover pastry shell with foil, gently pressing it against the sides. Top with pie weights (or old dried beans) if you have them, again pushed up against the sides to support the pastry. Put in the preheated oven. Blind bake pastry case for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully lift off the foil and beans. Set aside for re-use.
The case is now ready to fill.
For more on pastry: https://www.annogdengaffney.com/recipes/basic-short-crust-pastry/

French Onion Tart

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