Rustic Onion Tart

BakingVegetarianGruyereRustic Tart

Rustic onion tart with caramelized red onions, Gruyere cheese, and a butter crust.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Is there nothing better than caramelized onions?

Yes, they take some time to make, but they’re not hard to cook, and it’s so so worth the effort.

Here is great way to enjoy them—in a simple rustic tart, with some shredded Gruyere cheese and a sprinkling of thyme.

You can either use a ready made frozen crust (the flat or folded kind), or make your own crust.

Rustic Onion Tart Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe for butter sour cream pastry dough* or 1 packaged, flat pie crust (Trader Joe's has one in their frozen section)
  • 3 medium sized red and/or yellow onions (enough for 5 to 8 cups, sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup (not packed) roughly grated Gruyère Swiss cheese

*Sour cream pastry dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces of butter (1 1/4 sticks, 10 Tbsp, 137g), cubed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Method

1 Prepare the dough: If you are making a crust from scratch, prepare the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator while you are cooking the onions.

To prepare the dough, whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with your hands or with a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Add the sour cream and use a fork to incorporate it into the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and shape it into a disk. Wrap it with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

2 Peel and slice the onions, lengthwise from stem to root. (See How to Slice an Onion)

3 Caramelize the onions: Heat olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sprinkle a little salt over them.

Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and are translucent.

Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are well browned.

Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes more, until onions are completely caramelized. Remove from heat.

4 Roll out the dough: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes before rolling it out.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch diameter. Transfer the crust dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

5 Layer the cheese and onions onto the dough: Place all but a couple tablespoons of the cheese in the center of the dough. Spread to within 1 1/2 inches from the edges. Add the caramelized onions, layering them on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with thyme.

6 Pleat the edges: Fold the edges of the crust dough over so that a small circle of onion is still showing in the centre of the tart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the tart.

7 Bake: Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Rustic Onion Tart

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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23 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Janet

    Hi, ingredients for Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts include palm oil and butter. The crust is high in total fat (13 grams) and saturated fat (7 grams) and is extremely crumbly even when carefully thawed and unrolled. Be ready to do a lot of surgery patching it together.

  • Jane

    The sour cream pastry was great. Instead of one large one, I use a large glass to cut circles and made individual appetizers. They were a great hit.

  • Mari Anne Souza

    We have a winner! Made 2 of these for Christmas Eve, to go along with other appetizers. Everybody loved them. I used the pre-made pillsbury dough. I’m going to try it with puff pastry. Thank you, very much!

  • tt

    Can a store bought puff pastry replace the pie crust?

    If I were to use puff pastry, I wouldn’t fold it over the center like you do with a regular pie crust round. I would pile the filling on top of the puff pastry, just up to an inch from the edge. ~Elise

  • Lianne

    Can the onions be carmelized the day before and refridgerated, then put in the crust & baked the next day?

    Yes. ~Elise

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