Sometimes you want to make something that’s comforting and fuss-free, with just a little extra hint of luxury. Enter the caramelized onion pie.
I was watching Jamie Oliver’s new program all about cooking vegetable-focused meals when my partner and I saw him make (then rave about) a sticky onion tart. Needless to say, we both knew this was a dish that would promptly have to be replicated in our very own kitchen.
Riffing off of the recipe presented on the show yielded an incredibly tasty dinner, one that we would gladly both make and eat again. Here’s how we did it:
tools we used
- a small non-stick, ovenproof frying pan
- a cutting board
- a sharp knife
- a rolling pin
- a wooden spoon
- a pot holder / oven mitt
- a plate as wide as your pan
ingredients we included
- 2 medium-sized sweet onions (though you could replace or add other alliums to this dish – e.g. different varieties of onion, or shallots, leeks, etc.)
- garlic cloves — we used 5
- salted butter, about 3 Tablespoons’ worth
- balsamic vinegar, approx. 6 Tbsps
- honey, roughly 2 teaspoons
- fresh thyme, as much as you like
- bay leaves, 1 large or two small
- store-bought sheets of puff pastry, enough to cover the surface of the pan
- salt & pepper
note: if you were to make enough to feed 4, or two people twice, you may want to use a medium-large pan so as to fit double the ingredient amounts
how to make the onion pie
- Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F and your frying pan to medium-high heat. Remove puff pastry from freezer to thaw.
- Peel and cut the onions across their middle (at the midway point between root and stem). Peel the cloves of garlic.
- Add enough butter to the pan to coat its bottom generously, and put in thyme and bay leaves.
- Once you can smell the fragrance of the herbs blooming in the air, pour in the balsamic vinegar and honey and give everything a swirl.
- Add the onions to the pan, cut side down. Pop in the garlic. You should have enough liquid in the pan to spoon a bit over the onions. If not, add a small splash of water and give the pan a gentle shake to combine the juices. Spoon over the onions, then season everything generously with salt and pepper and some more thyme leaves.
- Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low. You’ll want to leave the onions in long enough so that they can soften a bit and absorb the flavours in which they are bathing. This should take about 15 minutes, give or take. Then remove the lid to let the liquid caramelize, turning the heat up if necessary.
- While the liquid caramelizes, roll out your puff pastry to ensure it will neatly cover your pan. Once the onions are ready, place the pastry over the pan, using a wooden spoon to tuck in the edges snugly around the onions.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden and puffed up. Remove from the oven (be careful! the pan is hot!). Cover the pan with your plate, then confidently flip the pie out of the pan and onto the plate. If possible, remove bay leaves before serving. Optional: decorate with additional thyme leaves, and lightly season with a bit more salt and pepper.
We thought this paired quite well with a simple green salad (and a couple of beers). Who ever said onions couldn’t be the star of a dish?