Cheese and Onion Tart

Thin, light crispy pastry is essential and definitely a cooked base and I have a few tips ensuring success. Cheese and onions are perfect partners and are delicious in this family bake.  Suitable for freezing and reheats well.


Start by cooking the onions for the filling. In a roomy frying pan gently heat the butter and oil together then add the finely sliced onions.  Give a good stir and fry gently uncovered for 3-4 minutes.  Add then the 3 tbsp water and the nutmeg, cover with a lid and cook on the gentlest heat for 10 minutes.  After the cooking time, remove the lid, stir again – check that the onions are soft and tender then transfer the cooked onions to a large cold bowl and set aside.

To make the pastry. Place the flour, mustard and salt in the bowl of a food processor then add the chilled cubed fat and blitz for a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  With the motor running then pour in the water and allow the dough to come together in a ball then remove from the machine, wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for at least half an hour.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c (fan)

Once the pastry has rested roll out thinly (I find it easier to roll between two sheets of thin reusable plastic) and line the prepared flan tin allowing the surplus pastry to overhang the edges of the tin.  Chill for 15 minutes then prick the base of the pastry shell, line with baking paper and baking beans then bake blind for 15 minutes.

After the baking time remove the tart from the oven and carefully lift off the baking paper and beans. Trim the edges of the pastry with a serrated knife then, to make sure the pastry shell is completely waterproof paint over the base with beaten egg taken from the eggs to be used for the filling.  Pop back into the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.

To make the filling place the eggs, cheese, cream cheese, whole milk and seasoning into the bowl with the onions and mix well. I prefer a smooth filling so I blitzed my filling with a stick blender.  Add then the chopped chives.

Take the pastry shell from the oven and pour in the filling. Slide the tart back into the oven and bake for 35 minutes until dark golden and set.  If you bake a deep flan then allow about 50 minutes turning the temperature of the oven down to 150 degrees for the final 20 minutes to avoid over browning,

This tart is easier to cut once cooled.

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