This tart is great for a Sunday brunch, or served for lunch or dinner accompanied with a salad. The addition of mustard gives a bit of extra savoury flavour to the pastry, and the caramelised onion and feta provide a nice contrast to the crumbly case. When you first put the onions in the pan it will look like an awful lot of onions, but they do collapse down after cooking. It is up to you if you use whole grain or smooth mustard, I happened to have whole grain this time so that is what I have used, but I have also used smooth mustard and even mustard powder and they all work really well in savoury pasty.
The pastry for this tart is extra short and buttery, so rather than rolling out the pastry to fit my long shaped tart tin, I tip the pastry mix into the tin and press it into shape, then rest the pastry before baking. This gives it a rustic, un-uniform edge but I quite like that. You can of course rest the pastry, roll it out and fit to your tin if you prefer. How many tarts you get out of this recipe depends on how big your tart tin(s) are and how thick you want your pastry, or you could use a muffin or cupcake pan to create mini tarts. Any leftover uncooked pastry can be frozen for use at a later date.
Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart
- 125g butter, softened
- 1 egg, beaten
- 250g plain flour
- 1 x generous pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 4 medium onions (approximately 650g worth)
- a generous bunch of thyme
- 2 fresh or 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon powdered vegetable stock (I used Vegeta brand)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used rice bran oil but you can use whatever cooking oil you have to hand)
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 200g feta
- Finely slice the onions.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onions, garlic, most of the thyme (reserve a couple of springs to garnish before serving), bay leaf, stock powder and water, cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 – 30 mins or until all the liquid has evaporated and the onions are golden brown and caramelised.
- In a food processor mix the butter, flour, a pinch of salt and mustard until it resembles fine breadcrumbs [or you could do this by hand by rubbing small cubes of cold butter into the dry ingredients].
- Add the beaten egg and combine until the mixture just comes together as soft dough. If the mixture is still a little dry after adding the egg, add a little cold water until the mixture just comes together into a ball.
- Tip the pastry into your tin and press into shape, and place in the fridge to rest and chill.
- Bake pastry in a 180°C oven until crisp. The time will vary depending on what sort of tart tin you are using, but as a guide allow approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and thyme stalks from the onion mixture, then the crumbled feta and lightly mix with the onions
- Tip the onion and feta mixture into your tart case, and place back in the oven for 10 minutes until the filling is heated through.
- Scatter the top of your tart with the extra thyme and your tart is ready to serve. Enjoy!
What is your favourite pastry tip? Has this post inspired any new ideas?