Free-Form Onion Tart


At Cavallo Point, school director Kelsie Kerr teaches the basics of preparing seasonal recipes. The buttery dough for her savory onion tart, for instance, is great with all kinds of fillings, like fruit.Chef Tip To make the crust flaky, keep the butter and dough cold. Quick Appetizers

Free-Form Onion Tart
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins
4 to 6



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

  • 5 tablespoons ice cold water


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet onions, thinly sliced

  • 6 thyme sprigs

  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk


  1. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle the water over the flour and stir gently just until incorporated; gently press to form a dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions and thyme and cook over moderately high heat, until softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, until the onions are golden, 20 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme. Stir in the crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

  3. Set a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven or position a rack on the lowest rung and preheat the oven to 375°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round and transfer to the baking sheet. Spread the onions on the round, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the filling and brush the edge with the egg wash.

  4. Bake the tart on the stone or on the bottom shelf for about 40 minutes, until the dough is richly browned on the bottom.

  5. Transfer the tart to the top shelf and bake for about 5 minutes longer, until the top of the crust is browned. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool slightly. Cut the warm tart into wedges and serve.

Serve With

Watercress-asparagus salad.

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