Today I’m back to work after two weeks off. I’m not as blue about it as you might think, I feel like I’ve had a proper break. I also gave myself a break from the blog and social media in general, just dipping in and out the odd time. I’d highly recommend it. You might even get two posts this week if you’re lucky!
For the second week of my time off eight of us went to Mallorca and rented a villa together – bliss! I read a few books, haven’t done that in a while, caught up with friends and had one or two gins.
The first week I did actually do some cooking. This Caramelised Onion Tarte Tatin was one of the dishes I prepared for the blog. It was originally inspired by this post from Laoise Casey on Instagram (go follow her if you are not already). Her braised shallots are just delicious! I would usually make this with shallots but I couldn’t get the banana type ones in my local supermarket so I went with red onions instead. They work equally as well. The smoked butter and PX sherry vinegar of Laoise’s dish are a wonderful combination but I have gone with different flavours for this recipe.
I also debated whether to make this as a savoury version of this galette but in my house puff pastry is preferred for savoury food. It would make a great galette though. I love onions when they are the main ingredient in a dish so for me this is a lovely light meal in itself. It is also ideal as a side dish, say for a roast beef dinner.
Useful tips & links:
- Use a good quality butter puff pastry for this. The one I used this time puffed more than usual so it domed slightly and the onions fell into the middle a little. It made no difference. You could also use a homemade rough puff or shortcrust pastry.
- I topped this tart with grated gruyere cheese. I love gruyere, it has such an intense nutty flavour and a little goes a long way. Alternatively you could use goats’ cheese, blue cheese, feta or brie.
- If you want to make this vegetarian make sure the pastry and cheese you use are suitable.
- This tart can be made as mini individual tartlets: caramalise the onions the same way, cut circles of pastry larger than the onions, place the onion on top and bake until golden. Ideal as a canapé.
- To make ahead, cook the onions until soft and allow to cool and store in the fridge.
- For more ideas have a look at Zita and Rob’s Goats’ Cheese and Onion Marmalade Tartlets from A Fox in the Kitchen. Just pop over to have a look at their stunning photography if nothing else.
Caramelised Onion Tarte Tatin
Serves 6 as a side
- 4-6 small red onions peeled and halved across the middle
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 tablespoon of soft dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of dry sherry
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
- 300g sheet of puff pastry
- 30g of grated gruyere cheese
- Preheat the oven to 170c/150c fan/gas mark 4.
- Heat a heavy oven proof frying or skillet pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil, butter and sugar. The pan should have a 20cm base and be slightly wider at the top.
- When the sugar and fats have melted give them a good stir. Carefully place the onions cut side up into the pan as tightly as you can fit them. Reduce the heat to low-medium and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and sherry.
- Cook for about 10 minutes before carefully turning the onions over. You want the cut side of the onions on the bottom as this is what will be the presentation side when you turn out the tart.
- Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and place the pan in the oven. I do not cover the pan as there is quite a lot of liquid here that I want to reduce to a thick glaze. The low oven temperature means the onions will not burn but if you are anxious cover with foil.
- After about 20 minutes very carefully take the pan out of the oven and check the onions. Baste some of the glaze over the top and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Cook until the onions are soft but still holding their shape. Mine took 40 minutes in total in the oven. It will depend on how thick your onions are.
- Remove from the oven and at this point you can allow the onions to cool and cover them until you are ready to finish with the pastry.
When ready to cook:
- Put the onions back on the hob and turn the heat to medium-high. Take care, you do not want to burn them after all this effort, you just want to reduce the glaze a little while the oven preheats and you prepare the pastry.
- Heat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Roll out and cut the pastry so that it is slightly wider than the top of the pan.
- The onions will have shrunk slightly after cooking so move them closer together towards the centre of the pan. Carefully place the pastry over the onions and tuck in the edge around the onions. Cut a few slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Take the Caramelised Onion Tarte Tatin out of the oven and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes. Hold the serving plate or platter over the top of the pan and carefully flip it over. Give it a little shake to help the it turn out on to the plate.
- Sprinkle over the grated gruyere cheese if using it or cheese of your choice and serve with a crisp green salad with a little extra cheese on top.
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