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Raymond Blanc’s onion tart

onion tartI must admit I’ve never eaten an onion tart but Raymond Blanc’s looks very tasty indeed. I’m not sure I would be able to chop that many onions without crying but the smell as they cook in his pastry case along with the crème fraîche and bacon lardon mixture is sure to make anyone’s mouth start watering. So get down to your local market, grab yourself some onions and try out this recipe! If you don’t want to make your own pastry you can easily get hold of ready made. The video to accompany this recipe makes the following instructions very easy to follow plus it made me chuckle when Raymond Blanc forgets to put the lardons into his mixture!

Serves 8. 18cm case used.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  •  200g plain flour
  • 1g/1 pinch salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, diced
  • 55g/1 medium organic egg
  • 15ml/2 tbsp cold water

For the onion filling:

  • 450g onions finely sliced
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 4 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 10g plain flour
  • 100ml whole milk, warm
  • 100ml crème fraîche
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 100g bacon lardons, blanched and gently sauted in a dry pan for 4 minutes until lightly caramelised

Method:

FOR THE PASTRY

In a food processor, mix the ingredients in the order as above, until the dough is a sandy texture (pulsing for 20 -30 seconds – NO MORE)

On a clean work surface, knead the dough in to a ball for 10 seconds to bring the dough together. Reserve 20-30g of dough, tightly wrap it in cling film and store for later (to tuck in the dough). Roll the remaining dough in to a cylinder, cut in half across, flatten each half it in to a round shape of 2cm thickness, cling film and refrigerate.

LINING THE TART RING

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Place a baking stone or heavy baking tray in the middle of the oven.

Here is another lovely technique to have better control on thinning the dough. I am sure you have tried to thin down dough in a warm kitchen and the dough sticks to the table, this technique stops this and makes it really to roll out the dough.

Arrange two squares of cling film 40cm x 40cm side by side, place the refrigerated dough in the middle of one sheet, cover with the 2nd sheet. Then with ease, roll the dough out to 3mm thick circle shape.

Place the tart ring on the wooden peel lined with greaseproof paper.

Take off the top layer of cling film, (discard) then, lift the cling film from the two closest corners, the dough will cling to it and drape it into the tart ring. Lift the edges and push the dough into the ring; then, press the base of the tart ring using the dough wrapped in cling film. Ensure the dough is neatly compressed and moulded into the shape of the ring. This will minimise shrinkage or collapse of the dough. Trim the edges of the tart by using a rolling pin.

Now, raise the height of the dough 2mm above the tart ring. You achieved this by pressing your index finger and thumb and pushing the pastry gently to the top of the pastry case all around the edge of the tart ring.

With a fork, prick the bottom of the tart. Allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hours to relax and firm up the pastry.

Bake directly on the preheated stone or baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush evenly with a beaten egg yolk and bake for 2 minutes to seal the pastry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

PREPARING THE FILLING & BAKING THE TART

In a large sauté pan on a medium heat cook the onions in the butter for 15 minutes until soft and lightly blond on colour, season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Taste and correct the seasoning if needed.

Add the flour to the cooked onions, stir, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Slowly add the warm milk, stirring to incorporate, then add the crème fraîche.

Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, remove from the heat, stir in the beaten eggs. Add the caramelised bacon lardons to the mixture.

Place the tart back into the oven and gently pour the mixture into the tart and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving to your guests.

Here is Raymond Blanc to show you how this seemingly very complicated recipe is put together with ease….I promise!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8U-eAL1J6M

 

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