Editor's Note: This tart is the perfect dish to pair with salad and serve for an elegant lunch or brunch. Considered vegetarian, the thyme-flavored pastry shell is just as enjoyable warm or cold. The pastry dough for the tart can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you have the time to cook the tarts. This delicious tart is not hard to make and can be an incredibly solid dish when having guests over for an early afternoon event. This cheesy and savory dish will be a memorable addition to any special occasion meal you are planning.
This vegetarian tart, with crisp, thyme-flavored pastry, is equally delicious warm or cold. Good with an arugula or watercress salad with sliced plum tomatoes and black olives, tossed in a lemon-flavored dressing.
Preparation Time25 min
Cooking Time45 min
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe CourseAppetizer, Main Course
MealBrunch, Dinner, Lunch
Taste and TextureCheesy, Herby, Savory
Type of DishSavory/pot Pie
- 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 9 tbsp cold butter, diced
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 4–5 tbsp iced water
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ¾ cup half and half
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 14 × 5 in (35 × 12cm) tart pan, or 9 in (23cm) round tart pan
To make the dough, stir the flours together. Add the butter and rub it with your fingertips until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in enough of the water until the dough holds together. Shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The pastry dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, and the onion mixture, stored in an airtight container, can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling out.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 1/8 in (3mm) round circle and use to line a 9in (23cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick it lightly all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes. The pastry dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, and the onion mixture, stored in an airtight container, can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling out.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 10 minutes more, until the crust is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring frequently for 15 minutes, until tender. Stir in the sugar and nutmeg and cook for about 3 minutes more, until golden. Transfer to a plate and cool.
Stir half the Gruyére into the cooled onion mixture, then spread in the pastry shell. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Whisk the half-and-half, eggs, and mustard together and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the shell. Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly set.
Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and serve warm or cooled.
2008 Dorling Kindersley