Onion, thyme & Caer­philly tart with thyme pas­try

The Simple Things - - LIVING -

This is based on Si­mon Hop­kin­son’s* lus­cious onion tart recipe: it makes full use of the way the plainest of onions turn sweet, soft and com­plex when given plenty of cook­ing time. Serves 4 100g plain flour 65g cold but­ter, cubed A pinch of salt A few stems of fresh thyme, leaves picked 2 tbsp iced wa­ter 1 egg, lightly beaten for the fill­ing 50g but­ter 500g onions, very thinly sliced A few stems of fresh thyme, leaves picked 1 egg and 2 egg yolks 125g whip­ping cream 75ml soured cream 150g Caer­philly cheese, crum­bled into chunks

1 Make the pas­try: in a bowl or food pro­ces­sor, rub or blitz to­gether the but­ter, flour and salt un­til they re­sem­ble bread­crumbs. If us­ing a food pro­ces­sor, trans­fer to a bowl and add the thyme and wa­ter, then bring the mix­ture to­gether with your hands, knead­ing briefly. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

2 Pre­heat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/ Gas 4 and place a flat bak­ing sheet on the mid­dle shelf. Melt the but­ter in a wide-based pan and add the onions and thyme. Cook on a low heat for about 30 mins, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the onions have col­lapsed com­pletely. Re­move from the heat.

3 Roll out the pas­try and line a 20cm tart tin, leav­ing the ex­cess draped over the sides. Prick the base all over with a fork, and then blind bake for 15 mins: scrunch up and flat­ten out a large piece of bak­ing parch­ment (scrunch­ing soft­ens it), then place it over the pas­try and cover the base with dried beans or rice.

4 Once blind baked, re­move the beans and pa­per and use a ser­rated knife held hor­i­zon­tally to saw off the ex­cess pas­try. Paint the case all over with beaten egg; bake for a fur­ther 15 mins.

5 To make the fill­ing, beat the egg, egg yolks, whip­ping cream, soured cream and thyme to­gether, sea­son with salt and pep­per, then mix this into the onions. Pour ev­ery­thing into the tart case and top with the pieces of Caer­philly. Bake for about 40 mins un­til golden and fairly firm to touch. Re­move from the oven and leave to cool. Best eaten at room tem­per­a­ture.

Cheese and onion, but not as you know it – the onions, slow­cooked, and paired with creamy Caer­philly

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