Red onion and goat‘s cheese tartlets

Red onion and goat‘s cheese tartlets

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

You can also make a large version of these tartlets by rolling the pastry out to a rectangle 3–4mm thick and creating a border, then pricking with a fork (as below) before covering with the topping ingredients.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Flaky pastry
extra flour, to dust
1 egg

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
3 medium red onions
30g butter
2-3 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
75ml red wine
few thyme sprigs
6 slices goat’s cheese, 1cm thick, from a crottin or log about 3cm in diameter
1/4 bunch thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the filling, halve, peel and thinly slice the red onions. Heat the butter in a frying pan and add the onions. Cover, ideally with a cartouche and sweat the onions until softened, about 10–15 minutes. Uncover, turn up the heat to medium, stir in the sugar, to taste, and continue cooking for 10–15 minutes until the onions are golden brown. Stir in the wine and cook gently until it has mostly evaporated and the onions are a deep brown colour. This can take up to 15 minutes.
  2. Finely chop enough thyme leaves to give you ¼–½ tsp and stir them into the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool.
  3. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle, about 3–4mm thick. Using a round pastry cutter or template about 12.5cm in diameter, cut out 6 discs of pastry as cleanly as possible. Transfer the discs to a large baking sheet, cover with cling film and chill until firm to the touch. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  4. Cut up the sides of the pastry. To create a border, use a small, sharp knife to cut a circle about 1cm in from the edge of the case; take care to cut only halfway through the pastry. Using a fork and avoiding the border, prick the pastry circle well, to stop the middle rising as it cooks.
  5. Divide the caramelised onions between the tarts and spread on top of the pastry, leaving the border clear. Top with a disc of goat’s cheese.
  6. Lightly beat the egg with a very small pinch of salt, using a fork, then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Brush the border of each disc with the egg glaze, making sure it doesn’t drip down the sides of the pastry, which could seal the layering together.
  7. Using a sharp knife, lightly mark the glazed borders with patterns; these should be indentations rather than cuts. They will help control the top layers from shattering too much as they cook.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry has risen around the filling and is golden brown, the onions are hot and the cheese is starting to melt. Meanwhile, pick off ½ tsp thyme leaves.
  9. If the cheese has not browned at all, a kitchen blowtorch can be used to colour it, taking care to avoid burning the pastry. Scatter the thyme leaves over the tarts and drizzle with a little olive oil, about ½ tbsp per tart. Serve hot with a lightly dressed green salad.
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