This is a french family onion tart recipe. It’s from north France, Picardi.
You can prepare this savory tart within minutes or choose to make it from scratch.
What is an onion tart?
An onion tart is a savory open pie-like pastry with an onion custard filling.
It’s a traditional main course dish, served for lunch or dinner, in North france.
My mother’s family (and this recipe) is from the Picardi region, however, different variations may exist in Alsace, Lorraine, Normandie, and even Ils-de-France (Paris area).
How to make an onion tart?
Making this dish is rather easy if you have the pastry ready.
You can use a short crust pastry, a puff pastry or even a filo pastry (if that is what you have at home). Traditionaly a simple unsweetened puff pastry is used.
Here is roughly the procedure laid out so that you can decide if you want to make this today.
For more details see recipe at the bottom of the post with the quantity of the ingredients.
Peel and slice onions.
Combine the custard filling ingredients.
Place rolled out pastry dough into a tart pan and cut off excess edges.
Make small holes with a fork into the pastry bottom and bake the pastry first alone (called blind baking).
Saute sliced onions in a pan until soft. Keep to cool for 5 minutes
Spread cooked onions in the semi baked tart crust.
Pour savory custard filling over the onion.
Bake onion tart until cooked through and serve hot.
You can serve it with any other lighter salad or a clear soup.
The tart is great with a wine such as a white wine or a rose.
A Riesling or Chardonnay tastes great with this onion tart.
Keep baked leftovers in your fridge and warm it up in the oven. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
You can also freeze your tart. To do that, simply prepare the complete tart as per instructions but don’t bake it at the end.
Just place the tart into your freezer and wait for it to get stone hard. Take out from the tart pan, wrap into foil and keep in the freezer.
Take out your frozen onion tart whenever you want to bake it and place it back into the same tart shape.
Don’t thaw, just place it frozen into the oven but add extra baking time to the cooking process. About 15 minutes more.
You can keep a frozen tart for about 2-3 months in the freezer.
Yes, you can. But add the baking time to your total time. That said it’s better to partially bake the crust in the oven all alone (blind baking) so that the crust is properly baked through and not soft. But when I’m lazy or out of time (because I don’t mind a softer crust), I just bake it all in one go without blind baking. #confession The choice is up to you!
A quiche is just a savory custard tart. Tarts can be sweet or savory but a quiche is always savory and always with a custard base. So, actually this onion tart could be called a quiche too.
More Recipes from the region
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French Onion Tart Recipe
- 4-5 Onion medium
- 1 Shortcrust OR puff pastry sheet *See Notes
- 1 Tablespoon Butter to saute onion
For the savory cusard filling:
- 2 Egg
- 1 cup Liquid Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Thyme dried
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Peel and slice onion. Keep aside.
- Prepare the savory custard filling. Combine egg, liquid cream, thyme, salt and black pepper in a bowl to a smooth consistency. Keep aside.
- Place rolled out pastry dough into a tart pan and cut off extra on the edges. Poke into pastry with a fork to create small holes. That's so that the pastry doesn't deform when baking blind.
- Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit/ 200 Celsius.
- Place a cut out round baking sheet, which is fitting into the tart base, and keep beans or pie weights on the round cut out baking sheet. Bake your crust alone (called baking blind) for 15 minutes at 400 Fahrenheit/ 200 Celsius. *see notes if you want to skip this step.
- Heat up a pan with the butter and sautee onions soft. This can take 10-15 minutes (time added to total cooking time in recipe)
- Place cooked onions into the tart crust and spread out evenly. Pour savory custard mixture over the onions.
- Bake tart for 30 minutes at 400-430 Fahrenheit/ 200-220 Fahrenheit. *see Notes
- Use either 1 rolled out shortcrust pastry (traditional version) or a puff pastry if you want it to be flakier or a filo pastry works great too.
- You can skip the blind baking of your pastry crust if you are lazy or if you want to save time and effort. Add the 15 minutes baking to the filled tart baking time. In that case, the total time will be 45 minutes (15 mins just the crust + 30 for the filled tart). BUT keep in mind baking the crust blind has its advantages. The pastry will be better baked through and won’t deform.
- Adjust baking temperature to your oven. Not all ovens are the same. Start with higher heat and reduce and adjust if need be.
This post was first published on the 2nd July 2012 and has been enhanced visually and with better instructions and infos ever since.
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