Cheese, Caramelised Onion and Broccoli Tart

This is the second vegetarian (well, depending on how vegetarian you are) recipe I’ve posted in a row. I’m completely unapologetic about that – I think that people who ‘need’ a piece of meat on their plate need to think outside the box a bit more. Yes, I’m talking to you, dad.

We were having dinner guests at New Year, one of whom is a veggie, so I made this tart. I always try and serve everyone the same thing when there is someone in the party with a dietary requirement. I always feel that if you give one person a different meal, it’s like giving them a consolation prize. There’s no reason why everyone can’t eat the same thing and eat well.

Turned out looking nice! I think this is the best my pastry has looked in a while. The pastry recipe is quite interesting; it involved me grating the pastry into the tin, which I was quite sceptical about. Turns out I needn’t have been. It was thin, crumbly and very tasty.

A tart is a great recipe for having people over as you can make well in advance. This recipe is a combination of various tart recipes using ingredients I had in the fridge.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.

Pastry

  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper
  • splash of milk

First make the pastry. Put the flour and seasoning in a food processor and slowly add the cubed butter to produce a breadcrumb like consistency.

Drop in the egg yolks, then tip out onto the work surface and bring together with a splash of milk. It should not look like a cohesive ball, so don’t worry. Wrap in cling film and put in the freezer.

Filling

  • 4 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 60g butter
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • a bunch of thyme
  • 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 200g cheese (I used cheddar, but any, or a mixture would be tasty)

Sweat the onions in a large pan with the butter on a medium high heat with a lid on for about 15 minutes until they reduce in volume. After 10 minutes, add the garlic and stir frequently so nothing sticks to the pan. Toss in the thyme bundle and poke down to the bottom of the pan.

After 15 mins, take off the lid and deglaze  the bottom of the pan with a dash of water. Turn the heat down and continue to cook for another half an hour.

Take your pastry out of the freezer and using the larger holes on a cheese grater, grate into a tart/pie dish, using your fingers to press down and up the sides of the dish. I found this a bit weird, but is actually surprisingly easy to do. Save a bit of pastry incase you need to make any repairs to the base later. Put the pastry case into the freezer for 15 mins.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c. Blind bake the case for 10 mins. Lift out the beans, then make an egg wash with the left over egg white from the filling and the milk, then brush along the base of the pastry case. If you spot any holes, fill them in with the left over pastry at this point.

Put back in the oven for 10 mins, until evenly brown.

Drop the oven temp to 160c and inspect the pastry incase you need to make any repairs – the case needs to be water tight. Beat the remaining eggs , cream and mustard in a bowl and then add the onion mixture. Make sure you remove the thyme bundle.

Crumble/grate in the cheese, then tip into the tart case. Fill it right to the top. You’ll probably have some left over. Scatter some cheese on top and decorate with some veg if you like. I had a few pieces of tenderstem broccoli in the fridge so I placed them on top of the tart before putting it in the oven.

Bake the tart for approximately 40 minutes. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Yum!