The Key to Achieving Perfectly Caramelized Onions, According to Ludo Lefebvre
A pissaladière, that classic dish from the South of France made with caramelized onions, olives and anchovies, inspired this latest episode of Ludo à la Maison. But here, chef Ludo Lefebvre makes his own version: a caramelized onion tart. The key to this dish is, of course, the onions, and you have to follow strict guidelines if you want them to come out just right.
The first step is adding not just butter but also salt to the pot, and waiting until the ingredients begin to “sing,” as Lefebvre says. Only then can you add your raw onions. After a few seconds, the onions should start to sing in the pot, too. Make sure the onions aren't too thin, Lefebvre says.
Now comes the hard part: Waiting. You will be tempted to stir the onions, but don't. “Leave the onions alone!” urges Lefebvre.
You want the bottom of the pan to get, as Lefebvre puts it, “the coloration”—meaning you want it to look slightly browned. Only then you can begin to stir your onions.
Once the onions begin to brown, feel free to stir them around the pot every couple minutes. You want the onions to become translucent, soft, and a deep brown color (though of course not burned). Before removing them from the pot, add more seasoning: flakey salt, white pepper, and a dash of fresh thyme.
While the onions are cooking, you can make your dough for the tart, which should be elastic—you don’t want to over mix it. Once you have assembled your tart, add a little more thyme to the top of the onions, and then bake until the onions are slightly crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes.
By the way, Lefebvre says that the best way to enjoy this lovely tart is with a glass of rosé.