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Red Onion Tart With A Corn Meal Crust

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60ml/4 tbsp olive oil
1kg/2¼lb red onions, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5ml/1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus a few whole sprigs
5ml/1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
10ml/2 tsp sherry vinegar
225g/8oz Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
Salt and ground black pepper

For the pastry

115g/4oz/1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
75g/3oz/¾ cup fine yellow corn meal
5ml/1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
5ml/1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
90g/3½oz/7 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
30-45ml/2-3 tbsp iced water


Serves: 6


1. To make the pastry, sift the plain flour and corn meal into a bowl with 5ml/1 tsp salt. Season with pepper and stir in the sugar and thyme. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Beat the egg yolk with 30ml/2 tbsp iced water and use to bind the pastry, adding another 15ml/1 tbsp iced water if necessary. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clear film (plastic wrap) and chill it for 30-40 minutes.

2. Heat 45ml/3 tbsp of the oil in a pan. Add the onions. Cover and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. They should collapse but not brown.

3. Add the garlic and chopped thyme, then cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Increase the heat slightly, then add the sugar and sherry vinegar. Cook, uncovered, for another 5-6 minutes, until the onions start to caramelize slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Roll out the pastry thinly and use to line a 25cm/10in loose-based metal flan tin (quiche pan).

5. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and support the sides with foil. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly coloured.

6. Remove the foil and spread the caramelized onions evenly over the base of the pastry case. Add the slices of Fontina and sprigs of thyme and season with pepper. Drizzle over the remaining oil, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is piping hot and the cheese is beginning to bubble. Garnish the tart with thyme and serve immediately.

Energy 592Kcal/2458kj; Protein 15.8g; Carbohydrate 46.4g of which sugars 13.3g; Fat 38g of which saturates 19.2g; Cholesterol 121mg; Calcium 207mg; Fibre 3.8g; Sodium 368mg

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