My favourite food of choice is cheese...you may notice lots of cheese recipes on my blog and on my Facebook page. I especially like the simplicity of this tart...only 3 main ingredients...yes cheese, potato & lots of onions in a crisp shortcrust pastry case. I like to add a little fresh thyme...it seems to go so well with the mature cheddar in the recipe. You can certainly use your favourite cooking cheese....Cheese & onion pie in my area of the UK is usually made with a tasty Lancashire, it's also amazing made with Wensleydale or Caerphilly or any other crumbly type.
For the tart case you will need (10" loose bottomed flan tin)
200 gms / 7oz plain flour
60gms/2oz Vegetable Shortening (Trex)
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp ice cold water to bind
For the Filling
2 largish potatoes, very thinly sliced and boiled in salted water for 3 minutes then refreshed in cold water
3 large onions peeled & thinly sliced
250gms/9oz cheddar cheese grated
2 tsps Dijon mustard
plus a little extra finely grated to sprinkle over the potatoes
around 1tbsp fresh Thyme leaves or just 1 tsp if using dried
a little white pepper sprinkled between each layer of filling
you shouldn't need any salt at all
a little melted butter to brush over the potatoes
Place the flour, shortening & butter with a little salt in a mixing bowl
Rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
add 2 tbsp iced water and mix together to bring together into a ball...you may need to add the other tbsp if the dough is too dry.
Flatten the dough out slightly and wrap in cling film
Refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
Flour your work surface and roll out the pastry to fit the greased tin with a little overhang
Line with parchment then baking beans and bake at 190c/375f/gas 5 for around 20 mins.
Remove the parchment and baking beans and put back in the oven until the pastry is golden brown and the base cooked through.
Trim the pastry overhand with a sharp knife
While the pastry is baking make the filling
melt the butter in a large pan and add the onions
gently saute them for around 10-15 minutes until soft & tender but not brown
Add 2 tbsps of water and cook on for another minute or so
add the Dijon mustard and stir in well
To assemble the tart
Place a third of the onions in the base of the pastry case and spread out
add a half of the cheese ...spread out
add another third of the onions
add the remaining cheese
add the remaining onions
sprinkle each layer as you go with a little thyme
Now lay the potato slices neatly on the top
Brush with a little melted butter
scatter a little finely grated cheese over
Bake at 180c/350f/gas 4 for around 30 to 35 minutes
The potatoes should golden and crisped.
This tart is so much better served just warm or room temp rather than hot
Scatter over a few thyme leaves before serving with a fresh, crispy garden salad