A delicious savoury cheddar, onion and spinach tart. It works well as a starter or a main course.
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus 50 minutes chilling time | Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Eight as a starter, six as a main
For the pastry
- 275g plain flour
- 150g cold butter, cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
For the filling
- 30g butter
- 550g onions, peeled and very finely sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 450g spinach
- 2 whole large eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
- 375ml double cream
- 2 tsp English mustard
- 150g mature cheddar, grated
- To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and a good pinch of salt into a food processor and whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and a little ice-cold water, to bring the mixture into a ball. Shape into a thick disc, wrap in cling-film and chill for 30 minutes.
- Melt the butter for the filling in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic, with a little salt, until slightly golden, then add a good splash of water and cover. Sweat on a low heat until the onions are soft and sloppy – about 30 minutes. Stir every so often.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan/gas mark 4 and put a metal baking sheet inside. Roll out the pastry and line a loose-bottomed tart tin 27cm diameter or 20 x 28cm (keep any leftover bits of pastry). Chill for 20 minutes.
- Take the lid off the onions, turn up the heat and let the excess moisture bubble off and the onions cook until they are golden and sweet.
- Wash the spinach and cook in a covered pan with just the water left clinging to it, about 4 minutes over a medium heat, until wilted. Drain in a colander and leave to cool.
- Line the pastry case with parchment paper, fill with baking beans or rice and blind-bake on the preheated tray for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and cook for another 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use any leftover raw pastry to patch any cracks.
- Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach, chop roughly, season and add to the onions. Mix the eggs, yolks, cream and mustard and season well. Spread the onion and spinach in the tart case, sprinkle on the cheese and pour on the cream mixture. Put back into the oven, on the baking sheet, for 30 minutes, until set in the middle and golden. Cool for 10 minutes. Serve.