I'm a total vol au vent addict, they're not just for Christmas you know, I look for every opportunity to get my vent on and this is basically a massive version that's filled with sweet caramelised onions and nutty cheese. You don't have to stick to those though, you could throw in some red peppers or some of those jarred artichoke hearts if you have them or a mushroom version would be amazing!
Caramelised Red Onion & Emmental Tart (serves 4-6)
You will need:
- 50g butter
- 3 large red onions, finely sliced
- few sprigs thyme
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 100g garlic and herb cream cheese
- 100g finely grated Emmental/Gruyère cheese
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg (use a microplane grater)
- salt and pepper
- 500g pack puff pastry
- splash of milk for brushing
- Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5. Put the butter, thyme and onions and fennel seeds in a pan and heat gently for about 45 minutes, stirring every now and then until the onions are very soft and caramelised, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- You will need a sprung cake tin about 30cm diameter, oil the base and sides well then roll out the puff pastry so that it is about 2mm thick (otherwise you will have a soggy bottom) and will easily cover the entire tin. Gently place the pastry over the tin and then carefully push it inside to cover the bottom and sides, you can trim any excess and use it to patch up any gaps or pop it in the freezer. Prick the base all over with a fork then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. When it comes out the centre will probably have risen right upso just run a knife around the inside to separate it from the sides and carefully push it back down.
- Whisk together the eggs and cream cheese then add the onions and finely grated cheese, season well and grate in a bit of nutmeg then fill the pastry case, brush the pastry with a bit of milk and pop it back in the oven for about 20 minutes. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before releasing the tin and moving the tart to a serving plate.