Onion tart with goats’ cheese and thyme

Photographer: Adam

As promised, here is Karen’s recipe for onion and goats’ cheese tarts made with her Balsamic onion marmalade:
“Ready-made pastry and stored balsamic onion marmalade make these impressive tarts very quick and easy. Spoon the onion mixture into baked pastry cases and melt tangy goats’ cheese on top.”


2 cups (225g) standard flour
Pinch salt
½ tsp mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
115g butter
4 tbsp iced cold water
225g ready-made savoury shortcrust pastry

150-200g soft goats’ cheese or feta cheese
Balsamic onion marmalade
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or sprigs of fresh thyme


1. In a food processor blend the flour, salt, mustard, pepper and butter until the mixture looks like fresh breadcrumbs.
2. Add the cold water and pulse the food processor until the pastry just comes together. Don’t over-process. Gently pull the pastry together with your fingers, wrap the ball in plastic film and chill in the fridge for at least 15 mins to allow the pastry to relax*.
3. Preheat the oven to 190˚C on Bake.
4. Roll the pastry thinly and use to line a shallow, loose-bottom flan tin 25-30cm in diameter or several smaller flan rings. Bake blind**.
5. Spoon the onion mixture into the cooked pastry cases and top with thick slices of goats’ cheese or crumbled feta.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C, and bake for a further 15-20 mins until the filling is hot. Garnish with thyme leaves.
Serve warm with balsamic-dressed salad leaves and fresh crusty bread.

Tips and tricks
*Pastry can be made the day before, wrapped and stored in the fridge, just let it warm up at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you try to roll it out or it will crumble and break.
**Baking blind: For some dishes it is preferable to bake the pastry case empty or ‘blind’, before you add the filling. This ensures the pastry is crisp rather than the filling taking all the heat and the pastry remaining undercooked and soggy. Line the uncooked pastry case with baking paper you’ve scrunched up then flattened out, fill with ‘baking beans’ or raw rice (see below). It is essential to support the sides of the tart in this way to prevent them falling in and to stop the base rising. However this will slow down the cooking so remove them after 15 minutes, once the pastry is ‘set’. Return the pastry to the oven for a further 10 mins or until the base is cooked and golden brown.
Using rice for ‘blind-baking’: Put a generous amount of rice into a roasting bag and this can be put directly into the pastry case. The rice moulds easily to support the sides of the flan and keep the base flat. Cool and store the rice in the bag and it can be used over and over again, just make sure the rice is completely cold before you seal the bag or the condensation will cause the rice to go mouldy.