Caramelised onion & blue cheese tarts from Stephanie Alexander

Or “how to turn a wedge of leftover blue-vein cheese into the most fantastic canapes”

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Blue-vein cheese is an acquired taste but in our house it is an essential addition to every cheese platter. Having bought this for a lazy, luxury friday night dinner, we found it too much to finish off between the two of us. Not wanting to waste such lovely cheese, I decided to put it to use in these tarts from The Cook’s Companion.
While Stephanie’s recipe makes a single large tart I decided to make individual tartlets for ease of serving, as these were to be transported to Mr T2K Brisbane’s class for afternoon tea.

The resulting tarts were beautifully flavoursome, without the ‘bite’ that is often off-putting to those who avoid blue-vein cheese.


Ingredients:

Pastry

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 120g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup of water

Filling

  • 500g onions, finely sliced (I used a mix of brown and red onions)
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of cream (I used sour cream)
  • 50g good cheese (you could use blue-vein, grated gruyere or good chedder)
  • pinch salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds or nutmeg

Firstly, make your pastry. Let me start off by saying, feel free to use bought puff pastry for these tarts. I chose to make my own pastry simply because I had the ingredients and prefer to use what I have on hand.
Rub the butter into the flour and salt until it forms a breadcrumb-like texture. Make a well in the centre of the mix and pour in the water and mix until it comes together. Knead until smooth and elastic, then cover tightly with glad-wrap and refridgerate for 30 minutes.

While the pastry chills, slice the onions and begin gently frying them in a small frypan with the butter. This will take at least 20 minutes to properly brown and soften them. Allow them to cook slowly and thoroughly, adding more butter if needed.

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While the onions cook, in a bowl mix together the cheese, cream, eggs, flour, butmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the mixture aside and remove your pastry from the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 200º.

Roll out the pastry to 1mm thin, or as thin as you can, on a well-floured bench. Cut out small rounds of pastry and lay them in your greased patty-pan tin. Whether using bought puff pastry or homemade shortcrust pastry, you will need to blind bake the cases; lining each tart with ceramic beads, rice or dried chickpeas. Cook until just golden brown (usually 5 – 7 minutes) and remove from the oven to cool.

Mix the onions into the cheese mix and pour into the pre-cooked tart shells. Bake for a further 10 – 12 minutes, watching them the entire time. They will burn quickly if left unattended.

This was such a lovely recipe to make delicious tarts out of nothing more than  standard fridge contents. I will be using this recipe again soon at our next party but they would also be a welcome addition at any afternoon tea.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen says:

    This sounds like a wonderful appetizer when entertaining friends. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  2. They look delicious! I find Stephanie Alexander’s cookbook so useful – make sure you try her banana cake sometime.

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