There’s very much a Quiche Lorraine vibe going on with these tarts. And this Lorraine has no soggy bottom!
I love a tart. For me, going down the cheese and onion route is often my favourite journey.
The great thing about a tart is you can use up whatever you’ve got in the kitchen: I often use up the dried end of Parmesan and other cheeses, bits of bacon from the freezer and there’s always onions to be used up in my kitchen!
I used perforated 8cm diameter pastry moulds here, which are great as you get nice vertical sides – and as an added bonus you don’t need to bake the pastry blind: they always come out crisp. However, the more traditional tart cases certainly do the trick of course.
I’ve given the recipe for the pastry below: it’s a standard shortcrust with added smoked paprika and a little Parmesan – they just make the pastry a bit more special!). You can, of course, use a bought shortcrust pastry – in which case a 250g block will be enough for at least 6 tarts.
These tarts are also delicious using Chorizo and Manchego instead of bacon and Cheddar.
Recipe: bacon & caramelised onion tarts – makes 6
- 160g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 20g finely grated Parmesan, optional
- 40g lard
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- about 4 tablespoons cold water to mix
- 3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 2–3 rashers of smoked bacon, diced small
- 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- about a tablespoon of finely chopped chives
- 60g Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 medium eggs
- 160ml double cream
- a couple of pinches of salt
- a few grindings of black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or a large knob of butter
You will need the oven preheated to 175°C(fan)
(1) To make the shortcrust: add the ingredients to a food processor, apart from the water, and pulse gently to break up the fat. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and pulse further, adding more water if needed until a soft ball is formed.
(2) Split the pastry into 6 pieces and then wrap and chill for at least half an hour: this makes the pastry much easier to roll out.
(3) For the filling: heat the oil or butter in a frying pan and add the onions, bacon and thyme. Lightly fry over a gentle heat for about 20-30 minutes or until the onions have turned light golden-brown. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
(4) Line the pastry tins: Roll out each ball of pastry thinly and use it to line small tart cases. Trim the tops with a sharp knife. You can chill these for about 30 minutes if possible, but this is not essential.
(5) Assemble: beat the egg, cream and salt in a bowl to break up the eggs. Add this liquid to the cooked onions, along with the cheese, chives and mustard, stirring well.
(6) Spoon the onion mixture into the pastry, along with the liquid, coming almost to the pastry rim.
(7) Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden-brown on top: there should still be a slight wobble. Use a fish slice to place the baked tarts onto a cooking rack: it is easiest to have the fish slice go under the greaseproof and then when on the cooking rack you can simply slide the greaseproof off.