Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Butternut and caramelised onion tart

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Butternut and caramelised onion tart
Butternut tart with caramelised onion, cheese and thyme. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Layers of roasted butternut, caramelised onion, Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and plenty of fresh thyme make this tart a winner.


2 medium onions, halved and sliced thinly

1 large butternut, peel and sliced into 1 cm rounds

4 long strands of fresh thyme

3 Tbsp butter for the onions

Garlic salt for sprinkling over the butternut

Olive oil for roasting the butternut

120 g Cheddar cheese, grated finely

80 grated Parmesan

220 g creme fraîche

1 Tbsp additional picked thyme leaves

2 extra large eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

1 packet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Flour for dusting the pastry board

Butter for greasing the pie dish


Preheat oven to 220℃.

Grease a 24 cm (or thereabouts) pie dish with butter.

Simmer the thinly sliced onions in butter with the thyme sprigs on a very low heat for about 30 minutes until well caramelised but not burnt. Remove the sprigs.

Lightly oil the oven pan and lay out the butternut rounds, dunking them on both sides so they are well coated in olive oil. Season with garlic salt.

Bake them for about 40 minutes until lightly browned and soft.

In a bowl, mix the grated cheeses and add 2 beaten eggs and the creme fraîche. Stir in 1 Tbsp picked fresh thyme leaves (or frozen) and salt and pepper to taste. (See TGIFood Tip below for frozen thyme.)

Roll out the puff pastry on a floured board. Place your dish on it and cut a broad ring about 3 cm wider than the perimeter of the dish. Lift the cut round of pastry over the dish and lay it in neatly. Press it over the sides and edges and trim off the excess with a knife. Prick the base all over with a fork.

Blind bake the pastry in a 220℃ oven for 10 minutes. Remove and press down any puffed up parts with the back of your knuckles, gently.

Scatter all the cooked onions over the base of the pie dish. Lay out one layer of cooked butternut on top of the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pack half of the cheese mix onto this, evenly. Lay out another payer of butternut and top with the remaining cheese mix.

Bake for 40 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before serving, but serve hot.

TGIFood Tip: Fresh thyme leaves freeze beautifully. If you store the sprigs in a sealed container, and then shake the bunch of frozen sprigs over your bowl, the leaves will fall into the bowl quite magically. It’s my favourite kitchen trick.


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