Cheese, onion and bacon tartlets

Cheese, onion and bacon tartlets
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40-45 min, oven time 40-45 min, plus chilling and cooling

The trick to a good tart is a crisp, thin pastry base, a silky, cheesy filling, plus any other fresh ingredients you want to showcase. Our cheese, onion and bacon tartlets follow these rules to a tee – you’ll have no problem demolishing a whole one to yourself.

Or swap meat for fish with our just-as-good smoked haddock, leek and and chive tartlets.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
705kcals
Fat
53.6g (29.4g saturated)
Protein
19g
Carbohydrates
35.7g (4.5g sugars)
Fibre
2.3g
Salt
2g
Calories
705kcals
Fat
53.6g (29.4g saturated)
Protein
19g
Carbohydrates
35.7g (4.5g sugars)
Fibre
2.3g
Salt
2g

Ingredients

  • 200g bacon lardons or streaky bacon, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 banana shallots, quartered lengthways
  • 2 generous tbsp fruity ale chutney (we used Stokes Real Ale Chutney)
  • 100g grated gruyère or strong cheddar
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 300ml crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped chives

For the traditional shortcrust pastry

  • 240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp English mustard powder
  • 60g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 60g lard, chilled
  • 5-6 tbsp ice-cold water

You’ll also need…

  • 6 x 12cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tins

Method

  1. For the pastry, put the flour, salt, mustard powder, butter and lard in a food processor, then pulse to a breadcrumb consistency. Add enough cold water, pulsing, to bring the pastry together. (Alternatively, put the flour/salt/mustard in a bowl, rub in the fats with your fingertips, then add the cold water and mix with a dinner knife.) Turn out onto a work surface, then bring together in a ball. Wrap in cling film, flatten to a disc, then chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Divide the chilled pastry into 6 equal pieces, then roll out each piece on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Use to line the tart tins, pressing to the edges and flutes of the tins and re-rolling any offcuts, if necessary, to patch up the pastry. Prick all over with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Line the cases with with previously scrunched up pieces of baking paper/foil. Fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper/foil and baking beans/rice and bake for another 5 minutes until golden and sandy to the touch. Turn down the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½.
  4. Fry the bacon in a non-stick frying pan over a low heat until it starts to release its oil, then increase the heat and fry until crisp. Transfer to a bowl, leaving most of the fat in the frying pan. Add the onion and shallots to the pan and fry over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes until softened and lightly caramelised. Set aside.
  5. Trim the pastry edges with a sharp knife, then spread 1 tsp of chutney on the base of each tart case and put on a baking tray. Divide the onions/shallots/bacon and most of the cheese equally among the tarts.
  6. In a bowl beat together the eggs, crème fraîche and some seasoning. Divide equally among the tarts, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, then bake for 20-25 minutes until just set and golden brown. Scatter with chives and serve warm or at room temperature.

delicious. tips

  1. The baked tarts will keep for up to 2 days, covered in the fridge. The bases may turn a little soft (still delicious), but reheating on a baking tray before serving will help.

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