squash and caramelized onion tart


What a day! It’s ten to five, and my shoes are still wet from walking to the station at seven this morning. That is a long time to have damp feet. I may have developed trench foot.

You don’t want to hear about quinoa today, do you? No. I didn’t think so. You’re right, it is too rainy for double broccoli. How about something with eggs and cheese in?

Actually, aside from eggs and cheese, this tart has loads of my favourite things in: roasted squash, caramelized onions, sage. In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve called it a tart because quiche sounds a bit, well, 70s. In fact, it is a quiche. I know this because of a scribbled post-it in my recipe notebook, instructions from my mother: Quiche: 3 eggs. Top up to 2/3pt with milk. Add stuff. And this is exactly what I have done. The tart started out life, though, as a much more elegantly-named galette, and so I felt I ought to let it keep some dignity.

Recipe after the jump.

squash and caramelized onion tart
Recipe adapted from the Smitten Kitchen site. It’s in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, too, but the version on the site uses sage instead of thyme and is therefore my favourite.

Serves 4-6.

For the pastry:
150g plain flour
1/4tsp salt
115g very cold unsalted butter, cubed
65ml sour cream
2tsp lemon juice
65ml ice-cold water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash
2tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
1 large white onion, finely sliced
1tsp salt
1/4tsp cayenne
70g gruyere cheese, grated
1 1/2tsp chopped fresh sage leaves
3 eggs
Approx 1/2pt milk
Black pepper

Make the pastry.
Put the butter in a large bowl with the flour and salt, and mix together with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Gently mix in the sour cream, lemon juice and water, trying not to overwork the mixture. Wrap in clingfilm and put into the fridge for an hour.

Make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Peel, halve and de-seed the squash, then cut into small dice. Put into a baking tray with some olive oil and 1/2tsp of the salt and roast for 30 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions and the rest of the salt, and cook for around 20 minutes until soft and golden brown. Add the cayenne and take off the heat.

Tip the roasted squash into the pan with the onions, add the sage and stir together.

Butter a 25-30cm tart dish, and roll out the pastry into a circle that overlaps the edges slightly (you might have some pastry left over). Lift this into the tin and stab the bottom with a fork a few times. Blind bake for 20 minutes, or until the bottom is no longer shiny.

Remove from the oven, tip the onion mixture into the tart case, and sprinkle over the cheese. Beat the eggs lightly in a measuring jug, then top up to 2/3pt with milk. Season with black pepper, mix and pour into the pastry case. A note: if your tart is on the smaller side, it might be easier to place it on the oven rack and then pour in the wet mixture.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the centre is set.


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