French Recipes: Onion Tartlets


Onion confit is a must have on French tables during winter. We usually associate this onion marmalade with foie gras toasts for special events. Each year I make some and my kitchen is overflowing with onion confit jars. Yet, it is possible to use this marmalade in many other French recipes for those who are not big foie gras fan, like my mother in law.

It is delicious to simply spread some onion jam on toast. If you are more motivated you can also turn your left overs into these tasty tartlets.

If unlike me your kitchen isn’t full of jars, you will need first to make some onion marmalade. I usually make mine one day before baking my tartlets. Confit tastes always better one day later.

You will need approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook onions. During the first 30 minutes, onions have to become translucent and melt-in-your-mouth soft. A crucial part here is to carefully monitor the cooking process so the onions don’t get burnt. Sometimes I add some water so I can do something else in the meantime.
It is only when onions are set that you can add the red wine. Adding wine before the end will stop the cooking process and you will get crunchy onions.

I bought one circle and can make 18 tartlets with it. I wish I would have made more however, as last time I served these, every single tartlet got eaten in 10 minutes…. You better make more depending on how many guests you’ve got.Ingredients for 18 tartlets:

  • 300 gr. of sliced onions (11 oz.)
  • 0.25 dl. of olive oil (2 tablespoons or 0.8 oz.)
  • 1.5 dl. of red wine (2/3 cup or 5 oz.)
  • 40 gr. of white sugar (1/5 cup or 1.5 oz.)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 puff pastry
  • Fresh Thyme

Peel and slice onions. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan; add onions, cover and leave to cook on low heat until translucent regularly monitoring cooking process (approximately 30 minutes). If you do not wish to monitor cooking process, add 1.5 dl. of water (just a bit more than 1/2 a cup) and remove extra water when onions are set.

After onions are cooked down, add red wine, sugar, a pinch of salt and a turn of pepper mill. Leave to cook until there is no wine left monitoring cooking process (approximately 1 hour). Reserve and leave to cool in your refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Cut out circles of dough (diameter 7 cm or 2.75 inches). Prick with a fork. Add a bit of onion confit on each circle and some fresh thyme on top. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature. Makes a surprisingly sweet and savory appetizer for your Valentine!

Author: Natacha Gajdoczki hails from Montpellier and is the creator of the French Girl Cuisine Blog.