Sunday, 4 August 2013

Strawberry, Caramelised Red Onion, Thyme and Brie Tart

One of my absolute favourite Toasted Panini combinations is cranberry. brie cheese and rocket.  I had often thought about doing a version with strawberries but shyed away from trying it, as strawberries do not necessarily have the same sharp tartness of cranberries.  However, with strawberries still growing in my garden, I decided to take the plunge and experiment, but not crushed in a Panini.  I decided to go all out and make a sweet savoury tart from scratch, yes including the short crust pastry.

The sweetness of the strawberries comes first, then the melting soft savoury creamy delight from the cheese and then you hit the twang of the balsamic red onions counterbalanced nicely by the short crust pastry.  The thyme is very, very delicate.   Needless to say, we really liked it and it will surely be made again in the future.
Right now, we still have plenty left over to eat cold or at room temperature with a side of crisp green salad. I am sharing this recipe with Javelin Warrior's for his Made with Love Mondays; and Karen over at Lavender and Lovage for the August edition of Cooking with Herbs; and Lets Cook with Cheese hosted by Simply Food, this event is about cooking any vegetarian dish which uses cheese.
 
Strawberry, Caramelised Red Onion, Thyme and Brie Tart
Serves  - 8
For the pastry to line a 8 or 10 inch round fluted tin with removable base
160g plain flour
Pinch of salt
75g cold butter
2 - 3 tablespoons cold water, you may not need all of it
Method
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then gently tip this into a food processor with the butter and blitz to get fine crumbs.  Now tip back into the bowl and gently mix in the water until well amalgamated.  (Please note you may not need all of the third tablespoon of cold water)  Knead the dough gently, then wrap it with.  Put into fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, roll out the chilled pastry to line a 10 inch pastry fluted tin.  Prick the base with a fork, then chill again for another 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, line the pastry case with foil/baking parchment paper and dried beans and bake 'blind' the pastry for 10 - 15 minutes at 180oc.  Remove the foil/baking parchment paper and dried beans and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so, or until it begins to turn golden.  Remove from the oven to cool down.
For the Strawberry Caramelised Red Onions and Brie Tart filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium red onions, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
160g - 180g brie cheese, sliced length ways
100g - 150 g fresh strawberries, hulled and slice into half
A couple of fresh thyme sprigs
3 free range eggs
150ml double cream
salt and pepper to taste
Method
In a pan, heat the oil and add the onions and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, then stir in the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook over low heat.  Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, until the onions begin to soften and have taken on a jam like texture.  Turn of heat and spread the caramelised red onion over the base of the pastry. 
Then on top of the onions, layer the brie cheese and top evenly with the sliced strawberries.  Sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
Whisk together the eggs and cream, season with salt and pepper to taste and pour over the tart.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the custard is set. 
Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


22 comments:

  1. Yum yum yum i'm attempting this with cranberries!!!

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  2. A daring experiment - but it evidently worked well! There are lots of really nice fruit + cheese combinations. Have you tried pears and blue cheese? Or watermelon and feta?

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    1. Thanks Mark. Yes, I've tried watermelon and feta - introduced to this combo by Peter Gordon, one of the first fusion chefs in the U.K, and also tried the pear and blue cheese combo in tart a couple of years ago. really liked it. Hope your well. I am envious of your veg, but happy for you too.

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  3. Just mouthwatering...looks delicious!

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  4. Fabulous! Wish I was having this for lunch.

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  5. now THAT is a stunning and very sophisticated collection of flavours and herbs... beautiful x

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    1. Thank you so so much Dom. Fingers crossed I get to participate this time round in Random Recipes. I got my go to book in less than 10 minutes, now got to randomly choose the recipe.

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  6. sounds amazing - berries and brie are such wonderful companions

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    1. Thank you Johanna, you must try this

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  7. A stunning entry into cooking with herbs thanks Shaheen and a tart that I would be happy to eat and day of the week! Thanks, Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen. I had to sneak some home grown thyme in the tart too, wished I had snook some in the pastry casing too, but that may have been too much.

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  8. This tart sounds so tasty, Shaheen - I love the combination of caramelized onion with the brie and strawberries. And homemade pastry crust is always so tasty!

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  9. That tart looks wonderful..What's a courgette?? What do they taste like??

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    1. Thank you so so much Missy. A courgette is what you may know as a zucchini.

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  10. This tart looks so very delicious, thankyou for linking it to Lets cook with cheese event at simply.food.

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    1. Thank you Nayna, I hope to be a regular participant now that I have discovered this event.

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  11. This is such an interesting combination of flavours. On paper it shouldn't work but apparently it does! Great recipe

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