Sweet caramelised onions in a perfectly crispy pastry

Tom Kerridge’s cheese and caramelised onion tart is a fantastic dish for a crowd

  • SERVES: 8 – 10
  • PREP TIME: 10 – 40 mins – can be a lot shorter if you buy shop shortcrust pastry.
  • COOKING TIME: 1.5 hrs – this is mainly caramelising the onions and then baking the tart
  • DIFFICULTY: not too tricky
  • IDEAL FOR: crowd-pleaser, friends/family weekend lunch/dinner, vegetarian
  • BUDGET: £

This isn’t a difficult dish, nor does it have loads of ingredients.

And there are a couple of shortcuts you could take.

It’s mainly, just about time, like chilling the pastry or caramelising the onions (you can’t rush this step).

Cheese and caramelised onion tart

You could shorten this process quite substantially if you didn’t want to make your own pastry by buying short-crust from the shop.

There’s no shame in that.

Making pastry isn’t actually difficult though.

And you could make it the day before and even line your dish (see below) and chill in the fridge, leaving just the prep and cooking for on-the-day.


  • 50g butter
  • 800g onions (about 8), finely sliced
  • 300ml double cream
  • small pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g mature vegetarian cheddar, grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • chives, finely sliced, to serve
  • For the pastry
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten


Make the pastry (or buy shortcrust which is what I did)

  1. Tip the flour and butter into a bowl, then rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix in the egg, then bring everything together using your hands until just combined.
  3. Form into a disc. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface into a disc that’s roughly 28cm in diameter.
  4. Use the rolling pin to lift it over a 23cm tart tin, then drape it over the tin.
  5. Use a small ball of pastry scraps to push the pastry into the base and up the side of the tin, leaving the excess to overhang.
  6. Chill in the fridge for 20 mins.

The onions

  1. Melt the butter in a pan over low-medium heat and cook the onions for 45 mins, seasoning them generously with salt and stirring occasionally until they become sticky and golden.
  2. Pour in the cream, then add the nutmeg and stir.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.

Cooking the tart

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan.
  2. Lightly prick the base of the tart all over with a fork, then line it with a large circle of baking parchment and fill it with baking beans, dried rice, or pulses.
  3. Bake for 20 mins, then remove the beans and parchment, and bake for 10-15 mins more until light brown.
  4. Break off a little of the overhanging pastry to check that it’s done – it should be cooked through and crumbly.

The final step

  1. Stir the egg yolks into the onion and cream mixture, and stir in two-thirds of the cheese.
  2. Tip into the pastry case, then sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and bake for 20-25 mins, or until just set and golden.
  3. Leave to cool completely in the tin, trim the overhang, then remove from the tin.
  4. Sprinkle with chives and more cheese, if you like.
Cheese and caramelised onion tart

Recipe: BBC GoodFood

For more vegetarian dishes, visit here.