Odila's Onion Tart with Gruyère & Thyme

Odila's Onion Tart with Gruyère & Thyme

by Sarah Cotterell and Aitana Infante

This lovely tart is perfect for entertaining a crowd or when you find yourself with a glut of onions. Many thanks to Sarah and Aitana from The Little Cooking Pot for sharing this recipe from their excellent book A La Mesa.

Aitana says: "There are weeks in our kitchen when onions seem to appear from every corner, secretly multiplying in number as if building a little army with the mission of shouting out loud: “ONION TART!”

"We gladly listen, happy to give onions our full attention and grant them the main role, rather than their usual minor but invaluable presence as the base of many dishes. Having peeled and chopped a few kilos we find our minds daydreaming, trying to imagine how many tons of onions are used in the world every day, blown away by the notion that each one takes up to 100 days to grow from seed.

"This is my mum Odile’s recipe, which she very kindly shared with us to share with you. She usually makes it with puff pastry but we prefer it with olive oil pastry, another of her specialties. Puff pastry is quite tricky to make at home but be careful if you buy it pre-made as some brands can contain a lot of added artificial preservatives."

Serves 6 to 8


For the olive oil pastry:
  • 240g Stoneground Wholemeal Spelt or Rye Flour
  • A Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 100 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 100 ml Lukewarm Water
For the filling:
  • A few sprigs of Thyme Leaves
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Free Range Egg, Beaten
  • 8 Onions, peeled & thinly sliced into half moons
  • 80g Gruyère Cheese or similar
  • 100 ml Organic Double Cream


To make the pastry:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly oil your quiche tin.
  2. Pop your flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the olive oil and warm water and use your hands to gently knead, bringing everything together into a soft dough. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside to rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to an even round a couple of centimetres wider than the quiche tin. Carefully transfer the pastry over the tin. Push the pastry into the edges with the tips of your fingers and cut away any overhanging pastry by rolling the rolling pin flat over the tin edges.
  4. Pre-bake the pastry for 10 minutes, rotate 180-degrees and bake for another 10 minutes. Take out the pastry and set aside to cool whilst you make the onion filling.
To make the filling:
  1. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C.
  2. Warm a generous glug of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onions and most of the thyme, saving a little to garnish. Mix well, making sure all the onions are coated in oil. Reduce to a low heat and cover with a lid. Sweat for around 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onions soften. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and keep cooking with the lid off until they turn golden brown and melting in texture.
  3. Transfer the onions to a mixing bowl and allow them to cool. Add the egg, cheese and cream and mix well. This is a good moment to taste for salt as you won’t be able to add any more later. When you are happy with the taste, pour the mix into the pastry and use a fork to spread the filling evenly.
  4. Pop the tart into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the tart 180-degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or so, until the top is golden and the mix is set. Don’t worry if the middle is still slightly wobbly.
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle the remaining thyme on top and serve with a crunchy salad. It will keep happily in the fridge for 2-3 days and it only gets tastier, making it a great recipe to cook in advance. Just remember to serve at room temperature rather than cold from the fridge.

Sarah Cotterell and Aitana Infante
Sarah Cotterell and Aitana Infante


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