My au pair job entails that I cook for the French family I live with. It’s not something I talk about often on this blog, but cooking is a huge part of my life here and is one of my daily joys (and stresses, ha). So I wanted to teach you how to make a French onion tart, or tarte aux onions. It’s a simple tart that tastes just like French onion soup… yum!
Hint- though I didn’t use them, this recipe is even more delicious with lardons, a.k.a. bacon.
4 small yellow onions (around 400g)
1 pie crust (pâte brisée or short-crust pastry)
Grated gruyère (about a 1/2 cup)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup of milk (120 mL)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
My favorite brand of pre-made crust in France.
A béchamel is a white, flour-based sauce that is in tons of French dishes- it’s always the same procedure so here are the basic steps.
1. Put butter and flour in small pot over medium heat.
2. Stir with a wooden spoon until they’re combined.
3. Whisk in milk until there are no lumps.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
Now for the onions.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celcius).
2. Peel and chop the onions. And your knife cuts don’t have to be perfect! Lord knows mine aren’t.
3. Put the pie crust inside of a tart pan with the wax paper that comes with the pre-made crust underneath (or just use regular wax paper if you made your own crust).
4. Take a fork and poke holes in the bottom of the crust.
5. Then start sauteeing the chopped onions in a sauce-pan over medium heat with a generous knob of butter (a noisette in French, about 2-3 tablespoons). Sautee until they caramelize, about 30 minutes.
This is the step where I’m always tempted to just put them in the tart… but they’re not done yet.
Now they’re done.
6. So add the bechamel to the onions… (You may not need all of it, just put enough to cover the onions.)
7. Then carefully pour the mixture into the crust.
8. Then sprinkle grated gruyere on top.
9. Put the tart in the pre-heated oven. And bake it until it looks like this!
Just kidding. This is the one that Julia accidentally burned when pre-heating the oven to make cookies. This one’s better.
10. Voila, it’s done! Now eat, enjoy and impress all of the French people you know! It’s best served with a simple butter lettuce salad with a light vinaigrette in my humble opinion.
*This recipe is adapted from the classic recipe of the wonderful French home-cook, Françoise Bernard.
So, your turn. Which French dishes do you love to cook?