Seasonal local food recipe No.314 – French onion tarts

This recipe is from Sarah Brown’s classic Vegetarian Kitchen. The quantities will fill either six individual tartlet tins 7cm in diameter or one 28cm flan tin.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 40-50 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

450 g onions, peeled and finely chopped
40 g butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh tarragon or 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
50 ml single cream
75 g Cheddar cheese, grated
Wholemeal shortcrust pastry made with:
165 g wholewheat flour,
1 1/2 tsp baking powder,
a pinch of salt,
75 g mixed fats (half butter and half solid vegetable fat),
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar,
5-6 Tbsp cold water,
1 1/2 Tbsp oil


Roll out the pastry to fill six individual tartlet tins or one flan tin.  Press the pastry firmly into the cases and prick well.  Bake for 5 minutes at 200°C/ Gas mark 6 so that the pastry sets.

Meanwhile, fry the onions in the butter, taking care not to colour them.  During the frying, lightly sprinkle them with salt as this brings out the juices.  Then stir in the brown sugar and tarragon.  Remove from the heat and leave the mixture to cool.

In a separate bowl beat the eggs thoroughly and then mix in the cream and grated cheese.  When the onion filling is cool, season with extra salt and black pepper.  Mix it into the cheese and egg mixture and spoon this filling into the pastry cases.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry shells are cooked and the filling is firm.  Serve hot, warm or cold.

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