Inspired by Marilyn Onion Tart

Marilyn Ferdinand co-authors the blog Ferdy on Films.
She writes about film with wit and insight. She also knows a lot about food, particularly vegetarian food.
Marilyn recently wrote on Facebook that she was in the kitchen preparing an Alsatian onion tart. The combination of onions and pie crust sounded so perfect for winter that I HAD to ask for the recipe.
Alas, her recipe was from a book—so I had to mess with it a bit in order to be able to publish it as my own. I added a little of this, altered a little of that, and ended up with a hearty tart that my family enjoyed very much. Add a salad, and you’ve got supper.
If you’re interested in seeing and/or making the bars we served for dessert, visit this blog’s sister enterprise, Pulling Taffy.
The Tart
for the pastry:
1-1/4 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold sweet butter
cold water as needed
for the tart:
4 tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds sweet onions (about 4 medium onions), thinly sliced; you may use regular onions if you like, but the sweet are a little gentler on the palate
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, grated
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
herbs to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme; next time I might try a little Creole seasoning for a little kick)
3 eggs
4 tablespoons half and half
You may use any crust you like, of course; this one is adapted from Marilyn Ferdinand. (She’s obviously better at crusts than I am since she manages with less butter!)
If you want to try this one, here is how you prepare the pastry. In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt. Cut in the butter. Add cold water, a little at a time, until the mixture can be formed into a ragged ball. Wrap the ball in waxed paper, and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

Half an hour into the refrigeration, start working on the onions. In a sturdy Dutch oven over medium-high heat combine the butter and oil. When they are bubbly, stir in the onions. Stir to coat them and keep on them on high heat for a couple of minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they are a lovely golden color, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out the pastry and place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle the cheese on the bottom of the crust.
Stir the flour, mustard, and seasonings into the onions. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and the half and half. Stir that mixture into the onion mixture, and pour the whole thing into the pie shell. 

Bake until the tart is set and slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

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6 Responses to “Inspired by Marilyn Onion Tart”

  1. This looks delicious – as Malcolm likes meat in his meals, I think I would add some bacon!

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    I thought about bacon since I love quiche Lorraine, but adding it seemed unfaithful to Marilyn’s example since she’s a vegetarian. And the onion does provide plenty of flavor!

  3. Grad says:

    Tinky, this looks so good. Unfortunately, although I love onions they sometimes do a trick on me when they make up a large part of the dish (such as French Onion Soup). I’m trying to think of what I might substitute (of course, it would change the dish entirely and unrecognizably since it is, after all, an onion tart). But it looks so delish I’m not sure I can resist tinkering with it.

  4. tinkyweisblat says:

    Tinker away, Grad! I’m not sure exactly what would work–the tart is indeed related to French onion soup–but I look forward to hearing about your experiment(s)…….

  5. Adelaide says:

    Hi Tinky,

    Happy New Year. We were been without a computer for a few weeks and I’m still catching up on my writing and visiting other blogs. I hope you will continue with Grandmothers’ Kitchens. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and trying out some of the recipes. Although I don’t always comment, I do read your blog a couple of times a week.

    Next apple dessert I make will be the rustic apple tart.


  6. tinkyweisblat says:

    Happy new year to you, too, Adelaide. The blog isn’t going away–just getting a little slower. I read your blog, too (, and enjoyed “the rhythmic beat of melting ice” in a recent poem, something I was listening to as I read!