Sunday, January 15, 2012

Eggy Tarts

Nigella Lawson's cookbook "How To Eat" is what first got me enthusiastic about cooking. It was the only book where I was able to follow a recipe and everything turned out as expected. Here is one of my favorite recipes from this book (slightly amended, of course). You can use a frozen pie shell instead of making your own pastry. Be patient with caramelizing the onions, it takes time, but the method is all very simple. Great with a handful of bitter salad leaves like arugula or watercress. Always handy to have one in the fridge for an easy lunch or substantial snack. 


For the Pastry: (to fit a 9” pan) 
1 cup (120g) flour 
4 Tbsp (60g) Earth Balance natural vegan shortening, cut into small dice 
1 egg yolk with a pinch of sea salt 
1 tsp yoghurt or fresh lemon juice 
6 tsp +/- Iced water 

  • Put the flour and cut shortening cubes into a bowl and freeze for 10 minutes. 
  • Pour into food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles oatmeal. 
  • Add salted egg yolk and yoghurt (or lemon juice). Process to combine. 
  • Teaspoon by teaspoon, add the iced water until the dough looks like it is just about to clump into a ball. Scoop out and form a flattened disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 
  • When ready to bake, roll out on a floured surface to fit a pie tin. Use a sharp knife to cut off any pastry that sticks out over the edge. 
  • "Blind" bake for 5 minutes. Fill and bake for 35-40 minutes. 

For the Filling:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb (454g) onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp coconut or turbinado sugar
2 eggs
8 oz (227g) crème fraîche
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp sea salt
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In a large frying pan, add oil and onions. Sauté on medium heat for 12 minutes until soft. 
  • Add sugar, cover with foil and turn heat down to low for another 20 minutes until lightly brown and getting mushy. Stir occasionally.
  • While you are waiting for the onions to caramelize, beat the eggs, crème fraîche, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Uncover and turn the heat up again for another 8 minutes until a darker brown. Season and remove to a bowl to let cool slightly.
  • Spread the onions into pie shell placed onto a baking sheet. Fill up as much as possible with the egg-crème fraîche mixture, and carefully place into the oven.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden and firm. 


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Vidalia or red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp coconut or turbinado sugar
8 oz (225g) mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup (160ml) milk
2/3 cup (160ml) cream
½ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt and pepper
1+ Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). 
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan. Sauté over a medium heat until the onion is soft and brown, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar. Add the mushrooms and olive oil, cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 
  • Beat the eggs, milk and cream together. Season. Sprinkle in the nutmeg, if using. 
  • Put the onion-mushroom mixture into the pie shell. Place this onto a baking sheet in case it spills over. 
  • Pour in the egg mixture. Grate cheese on top. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until slightly browned on the top and is firm, not wobbly. 

I haven't made these yet, but Jamie Oliver makes this look really easy!


  1. Hi! Thinking of making quiche again, but with broccoli. Do I still follow the same instructions, but just substitute the broccoli for mushroom?

  2. Yes, but you don't need to saute the broccoli in advance. Just toss them in with the caramelized onions while they are cooling.

  3. OK, will try tonight and let you know how it turns out.

  4. Success! The broccoli needs to be cut in quite small pieces

    1. That's great! Quiche is definitely a perfect base to be flexible with incorporating any type of foods and flavors.


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