Caramelised onion tart
Savoury short-crust pastry
4 medium brown onions, peeled and finely shredded
100g unsalted butter
Freshly ground white pepper
1 tbsp sugar
400ml pouring cream
5 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and washed
Onions have natural sugar and will caramelise on their own but the addition of a little sugar assists the process. Brown sugar is a good alternative to white and will give a deeper colour. Caramelised onions will last in the fridge for more than a week and can be used to jazz up all kinds of dishes. This tart, however, is just a little bit of perfection. Use homemade or bought short-crust pastry.
Line a 20cm round tart shell with pastry. Allow to rest, preferably overnight, but for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 170C. Line pastry with foil and fill the base with dried rice, beans or weights. Blind bake the pastry until it is cooked through and golden. Remove foil and rice, beans or pastry weights. Lightly beat one egg with a fork and brush it over the pastry.Return the pastry case to the oven for two minutes to set egg. Meanwhile, place the onions and butter in a heavy-based saucepan and sweat the onions over medium to low heat. Season with salt and pepper and add sugar. Continue to sweat until very soft and a golden brown colour, about 30 minutes.Make a custard by beating the remaining eggs gently with a fork or whisk, add cream and season with salt and pepper. Spoon onions into tart shell and carefully pour over custard. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and bake until golden brown on the top and the custard is just set, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven onto a cooling rack. Once cool enough to handle, remove from tin, slice and serve with salad greens.