Recipe: Goat’s Cheese and Carmelised Onion Tarts

resizedThis recipe was inspired by the great Delia Smith, whose real recipe can be found here.

If you have the time for Delia’s recipe, stop right here and click the link above.

If, however you’re short on time and energy, read on.  There’s a cheat’s version.  (Phew, I hear you say.)

In the fridge section of your local supermarket, you will find either puff pastry sheets or puff pastry casings.  I chose sheets for this recipe, and simply cut them into squares. All that remained was a quick carmelising of onions (there’s an oxymoron!), mixing of cream, topping with goat’s cheese, et voila, a pretty starter in no time. This is a cheap and pretty starter which is perfect for a summer dinner party. The recipe makes six, which you should always make, even if the dinner only calls for four – great to have stand-bys should one or two decide to flop, singe, or worse, end up on the floor.

Ingredients

  • 2 large red onions, peeled and sliced into rings (mandolin is yer only man for this)
  • 1 large goat’s cheese log, cut into 6 decent sized discs (splash out for decent cheese if you can manage it, rubbery supermarket goat’s cheese tends to melt like a tyre rather than brown nicely)
  • 1 large knob of butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup single cream
  • ¼ level teaspoon mustard powder + smidgin cayenne pepper +  salt and freshly ground black pepper + handful sprigs fresh thyme, dipped in olive oil

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (350°F).IMG_2146

2. Arrange pre-made puff pastry sheets on the parchment paper it comes with, and roll them out using a rolling pin to ensure it’s evenly flattened.

3. Beat one egg into egg wash

4. Cut puff pastry squares into six even squares and pat little resevoirs into the centre using your fingertips.  With a fork, gently press into the edges to create a serated finish, which will puff up and surround the centre. Brush with beaten egg mixture.

5. Pop into the oven and cook for just ten minutes, watching carefully that they don’t brown too much – you just want them to firm up, not go golden.

6. Meanwhile, for the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a low heat and cook the onions gently, uncovered for about half an hour.  Stir often to prevent sticking and remove from the heat when they turn a lovely dark purple / brown colour.  If you need it to hurry up a little, add a tsp of sugar.  I like to add a drizzle of balsamic too.

7. Next for the cream mixture, beat the remaining egg with the cream and mustard and season.

8. Remove the puff pastry squares from the oven and layer a small portion of carmelised onion into the reservoir in the middle, then a spoonful of the cream mixture, and finally, a disc of goat’s cheese.

9. Sprinkle fresh thyme on top (great tip from Delia to dip them in olive oil first, this way they don’t char) and return to the oven for another fifteen minutes or so, watching carefully for just the right golden hue.

10. When finished, serve immediately with fresh salad and tell everyone you made Delia’s version.  I won’t tell.

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