Caramelized Onion, Beet and Feta Tart Recipe
Pies

Baking Along with The Great British Bake-Off – Pastry Week – Part 1

Episode 5 of The Great British Bake-Off was all about pastry. For the signature bake, contestants had to make 8 Cornish Pasties, filled with the filling of their choice. One contestant went more traditional with a cheese and onion filling, while others drew inspiration from Moroccan, Indian and Thai flavours. For the technical challenge, contestants had to make both raspberry and salted caramel flavoured eclairs. For the showstopper, the contestants had to make a tart that sat under a pastry cage.

Once again, I decided to bake all three challenges this week. Except for the pastry cage. The judges didn’t even taste those, so I thought it was a waste of food to make an element that was purely for decorative purposes.

Bake #1

First I made the pasties. When considering what kind of filling to do, my mind was drawn to the Jamaican patty, which I have made before. Since I wanted to be more unique I decided not to do the traditional patty but to stick with Caribbean flavours. From there, my thoughts went to the Trinidadian Roti, which is one of my favourite take out dishes. I found a recipe for chicken roti on African Bites that looked promising and made that along with the pastry recipe posted by Hermine on the Great British Bake-Off website. The pasties turned out really well. The pastry was very flaky and the filling was delicious, but boy were they tedious to make! I think I would tinker with this recipe again and make a pie in the style of a Tourtiere rather than individual pasties.

Bake #2

Next, I made the eclairs. The only problem was, once again, the technical bake recipe was not posted on the Great British Bake-Off website. I used an eclair recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for the buns and a raspberry filling recipe from Ricardo. These were not a success! I’ve never made choux pastry before. Some of them rose well but some collapsed after baking. The filling was very light on the raspberry flavour and I found them overall underwhelming. The glaze on top was not thick enough so they looked very messy. I didn’t take a picture of these ones! I think, like macarons, I will have to make this kind of pastry a couple of times to master the technique.

Bake #3

For the third bake, I wanted to make a tart that I had never made before and that had a vibrant colour. I ended up making two tarts! I had some beets to use up and was going to make soup, but my daughter turned her nose up at that. During an internet search of beet recipe ideas, I saw a picture of a beet and feta tart. I decided to see what I could do to come up with my own recipe for this.

I used a bacon and onion tart recipe from my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook as a basis for the tart shell and the custard portion and set about doing my own filing. For the filling, I thinly sliced two onions and grated 2 beets. This looked like quite a bit of filing when raw, but I had a feeling I could cook them down slowly like I do for caramelized onions. I figured this would amp up the flavour along with reducing the volume of filling so that it would fit in the tart shell. I cooked the onions and beets for about 30 minutes along with some salt and rosemary until they were significantly reduced in volume. Then I added some balsamic vinegar as I sometimes do with onions. I cooled the filling and spread it over the baked and cooled tart shell then sprinkled some feta cheese over the top and a mixture of cream and egg. Then I baked it for 20 minutes until the filling was set.

This tart was fantastic! Because I had cooked the beets and onions slowly over low heat, they developed an intense, delicious flavour. The whole family loved this tart! I just had a leftover piece for lunch today and was once again wowed with how good this tart tasted! I’m posting the recipe for this tart below.

In my next blog post, I’ll post the recipe for my Pomegranate Meringue Tart. It was also delicious and so pretty!

Caramelized Onion, Beet and Feta Tart Recipe
Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 1 Hr 5 Mins Cook Time: 51 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 56 Mins

Caramelized Onion, Beet and Feta Tart

The slow and low caramelization process of the onions and beets adds deep and rich flavours to this savoury tart recipe. The easy pat in the pan crust makes this a perfect tart for novice pie bakers! Both the filling and the crust may be prepared up to a day in advance. The tart shell should be covered in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature and the filling should be kept covered in the fridge. A 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom is recommended for this recipe.

Ingredients

0/15 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    For the Crust
  • For the Filling

Instructions

0/13 Instructions
    For the Crust
  • Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined, about 4 pulses.
  • Scatter the butter over the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 15 pulses.
  • Add 2 tbsp water and process until large clumps form and no powdery bits remain, about 5 seconds, adding up to 1 tbsp more water if dough will not form clumps.
  • Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom and press evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough and smooth out any bumps or shallow areas. Plate the tart pan on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375F/190C. Place the frozen tart shell in the pan on a baking sheet. Lay a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the top and press gently to cover the tart shell. Fill with pie weights.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes until the shell is golden. Let cool 15 minutes on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
  • For the Filling
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are softened and translucent.
  • Add beets, rosemary and 1/2 tsp salt. Continue cooking over medium heat until most of the moisture has evaporated and the ingredients have significantly reduced in volume, about 30 minutes.
  • Add balsamic vinegar and saute for 2 more minutes. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm.
  • Once the filling ingredients have cooled, spread them over the bottom of the baked tart shell. Sprinkle feta cheese over top of the beet mixture.
  • Whisk together eggs, cream, pepper and 1/4 tsp salt in a liquid measuring cup. Pour evenly over the beet mixture.
  • Bake until the centre of the tart is firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the tart pan ring and place tart on a serving plate.

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