This is a recipe in two parts and is one that I make of a lazy weekend when I want something light, tasty, and homemade. The pastry keeps in the fridge for a couple of days so you can make a bit more or less, keep the 2:1 proportions but increase or decrease as necessary. It takes a bit of time, but much of it is waiting for things to cook.
I’ve had limited success making my own pastry in the past because I struggled to rub the butter and flour together without letting the butter warm up too much. However, I was lucky enough to get an awesome Kenwood food processor which makes shortcrust pastry trivial, the 2 litre ones don’t take over the kitchen quite as much as their bigger brethren and you can even get away with two-thirds sized bread doughs in it, very recommended.
Rosemary Shortcrust Pastry
150g plain flour
75g fridge-cold butter
pinch of salt
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Roughly cube the butter, put all the ingredients into the blender and give it the beans for about 10 seconds. To get it to come together into a pastry, leave the blender chopping and slowly slowly dribble in some water through the feeder tube until it just starts to clump. Stop the blender, scrape it out and just roll it into a lump in your hands. Wrap it in cling-film and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Caramelised onion Filling
50g crumbly cheese
4 sun dried tomatoes
4 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar
fresh black pepper
dash of milk
tart tins with removable bases
Finely chop the onions and put them in a pan with the vinegar on a medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. The idea is to gently sweat them down so they go soft and caramelise, don’t scorch or crisp them. You may need to add a dash of water to stop them catching on the bottom. Stir often.
Making the tarts
Heat the oven up to 180C
Once the onions are looking ready, take them off the heat and prepare the tart cases. Line the tart case bottom with greaseproof parchment. You’ll have to judge for yourself how much pastry you need to fill the size of tin you’re using.
Roll out the pastry so it’s 3mm thick and lay it into the tart case. Make sure it goes right to the corners at the bottom.
We don’t want any soggy bottoms, so lightly prick with a fork, cover with foil or parchment, add a handful of baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes or until the pastry just starts to turn golden brown.
Now we assemble the final tarts by filling to about two thirds depth with onions, crumbling on some cheese and roughly chopped sun-dried tomato. If you prefer to see the onions, they’re good to bake at this point.
If you, like me, prefer a golden finish then whisk the egg with a fork, let it down with a spoon of milk and add a generous twist of fresh black pepper. Add a thin topping of egg mix and then it’s back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the topping has got some colour on it.
Leave it to cool and set for a few minutes before trying to take it out of its case before serving with a green salad and a light vinaigrette.