French Onion Soup Tarte Tatin
French Onion Soup is one of our all-time favourite meals, especially in the chilly days of November. Toronto can feel a bit cold and gray this time of year, and I've started pulling my wooly socks out of storage and layering up in soft, fleecy, stretchy things that no one should ever be seen wearing in public. I had a teacher who used to proclaim that November was the worst month of the year, and I tend to agree with him. There's not much to look forward to, and it's just a bit too early to put up your Christmas lights still. Something decadent and comforting like French Onion Soup helps make these dreary days a little brighter.
I often make Julia Child's recipe, and it seems I'm on an eternal hunt for a decent beef stock to buy in Toronto. Every one that I've tried has been a bit of a let down- if you have any leads, drop me a line!
This version, which puts the flavours and richness of a French Onion Soup on a bed of crisp, buttery puff pastry makes a great appetizer for a party, or pair it with a salad and a sharp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for a delectable date night dinner for two. There are never any leftovers.
You can easily make this vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for the beef, but I wouldn't suggest swapping out the butter for vegan margarine. You can't substitute for real butter.
French Onion Soup Tarte Tatin
- 1/2 block Butter Boys Original Puff Pastry, cold
- 675 g White Cooking Onions, around 3-4 small onions
- 4 tbsp. Butter
- Salt & Pepper
- 3/4 cup Beef Stock
- 1/4 tsp. Fish Sauce
- 1/4 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Thyme
- 1 tbsp. Sugar
- 56 g Gruyere Cheese, grated
- Dijon Mustard
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Peel Onions: for 2-3 of the onions, trim away the scraggly end of the root while keeping the light-coloured part intact. Cut the onions from top to bottom, until you have 16 wedges total. Set wedges aside and thinly slice remaining onion.
3. In a medium pan on medium heat, melt a tbsp of butter and add the sliced onions and salt & pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are a rich, golden colour. Add water a tbsp at a time to prevent scorching and to deglaze the pan.
4. Add the stock and reduce for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, and the thyme. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Smear the remaining butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Sprinkle on the sugar and rotate the pan to coat. Season with Salt & Pepper.
6. Arrange the onion wedges in a circular pattern around the pan, with the root side of each wedge facing towards the centre. Tuck any remaining wedges in the centre of the skillet.
7. Place skillet on high heat and cook onions, without stirring, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle the cooked onion mixture in between the wedges, and add the cheese.
8. Roll out the puff pastry, cutting to size using the lid of the skillet as a guide. Brush with Dijon mustard and transfer the dough on top of the cooked onions and cheese.
9. Bake until pastry is a deep golden brown, 35-45 minutes. Don't underbake, as your puff pastry will be doughy in the centre.
10. Remove skillet from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then take a plate, place it over the skillet like a lid, and carefully flip the tart out of the skillet onto the plate. Make sure your skillet has cooled enough that you don't burn yourself.
11. Garnish with a little more cheese, allow to cool, and serve.
This recipe was adapted from Sasha Marx at Serious Eats.