French Onion Tart

One of my favorite blogs recently wrote ‘Sometimes blogs are accused of peddling an unrealistic, gauzy version of life that makes readers feel inadequate over time‘.

And I have to admit that the stream of perfect looking food, with the ultimate compositions, light and artistic claim (not to forget the gorgeous looking bloggers themselves) can be right-out intimidating.
I try to avoid comparing (or looking at Instagram), but sometimes I can’t  help but feel like a sloppy shemozzle.
In my life stuff goes wrong, I’m too impatient to be a perfectionist, I trip, I slice into my own fingers, I get distracted, things burn and sometimes things catch flames at the table because I place candles everywhere (sorry again dad, Appie, Kim, mom – yes, all individual cases).
And this is just the visible stuff.
On the background dough just decides to not rise, bread comes out sticky (repeatedly re-baking does help crucifying all though), cookies turn out soft, my lemon curd just won’t set and every attempt to make pickled gherkins just fails flat out (read: floating strange things appear).
Some days this things just make me want to throw in the towel, sit silently in a corner and order sushi online.
That is just my way to keep things sane and very attainable. 🙂

This recipe is perfect for times like this, in a way that it is a complete knock-out even when you don’t expect it. It is all about humble ingredients turning out tasting amazing. Sometimes that is all that is needed.:)

French Onion Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Dough

  • 250 grams of flour
  • 125 grams of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons of ice cold water

Onion filling

  • 1 kilogram onions (shallots, yellow or red onions, I used a mixture)
  • 2 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1-2 cups of white or red wine (alternatively stock or water)
  • 1 teaspoon (smoked) salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 100 grams of Parmesan cheese (I simply sliced it instead of grating)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (alternatively use oregano, sage or thyme)

For the dough, mix the butter into the flour with your fingers and slowly add the water. Try to not over-mix as this will heat up the dough and make the result less delicate (but rather more sturdy, not bad as well, the flakiness is just really nice against the heavy onions). After the dough comes together, form a ball, cover it with foil and shortly place it in the fridge to chill.

For the filling you will need a bit of time and patience. After chopping the onions (this can be rough, but the smaller you chop it, the faster your quiche will come together).
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium heat and add the onions. Add the salt (as this will already help soften the onions), rosemary, paprika, black pepper and the cup(s) of wine. Let all simmer until the onions look soft, brown and caramelised. This will take somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes.
After the onions are finished, mix through the Parmesan cheese (I like when it is all mixed through the filling, and not a crust on top, but you can off course go that route as well).

Simply push the chilled dough into a buttered form with your fingers, I always try to save myself from the rolling out and find that the result almost doesn’t differ. For the same reason I skip the pre-baking.
Scoop in the onion filling and bake in a modestly hot oven on 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes.

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