Jordan Clay is chef and co-owner of much-loved Pipi’s Kiosk in Albert Park and we just love his answer to this question…
The first ingredient I thought of is onion. Someone who loves you will still kiss you despite your bad onion, or garlic breath.
I always joke around with my partner, “would you still love me if I ate this entire onion like an apple”, and she always egged me on (because she would just love to see me suffer),but she also has an uncooked onion intolerance. Cooked is fine, but uncooked, it makes her stomach upset.
So that’s a running joke; because of course, you would still give somebody a kiss even though they smelt of onions and garlic. This was my original train of thought, so the recipe I must share is for an onion tart.
I usually like to put a sharp cheddar or Dutch Gouda on top of it, but you could also use Comte.
It’s for a 25cm tart pan and you’ll need eight or nine white onions.
Slice up the onions lengthways, cut them in half and then slice them lengthwise very thinly. Put them in a pot with just a little bit of butter and season them on a medium heat.
Keep stirring the onions and let them cook down. Once some of the water starts to evaporate, they’ll start to stick to the bottom of the pan and caramelise a little.
At that point, you want to deglaze with a bit of wine. Port is really good, but if you don’t have Port, you can use a red wine.
It takes a little while for this process to happen, like how you would make a French onion soup.
You want that deep, rich caramelisation of the onions. You don’t to see any of them being translucent or still white.
This will take, 20-ish minutes to get the kind of jammy onion flavour and texture you need.
Once things are cooked down, it’s nice to add a little something sweet. I like to put in a little bit of maple syrup, just a tiny touch. I like to put in a bit of thyme and a clove of minced garlic at this point.
You need to cook out the minced garlic, it adds little dynamic flavour to the caramelised onions.
Then, what we’ve done in the past at the restaurant, is that we bake it in a savoury tart shell. Pierce your dough. Cut the dough into a circle.
Set the oven for 180C.
Spread some Jerusalem artichoke puree (cook finely slice Jerusalem artichokes in milk until soft and blitz until smooth) on the bottom of the shell and pour the onion over the puree in the pastry shell.
If I’m making this tart at home, I like to fold the edges of the pastry, like a Turkish pide; it’s almost like a turnover. So, you’ll have very thick, long edges of pastry that have been folded down. Then just the middle of the cooked onions is visible and poking out at you from the tart.
Bake it as the pastry instructions say and cook until the pastry has crisped up, about 10 minutes, up to 15.
Once it comes out, you really want the sides to be quite crispy.
Brush the sides with melted butter and while it’s still hot, get a microplane and grate on the Dutch Gouda or other cheese of choice. I think it’s good to go with a super-salty cheese and it will melt nicely as well.
Keep grating until you can see that fluffy snowflake cheese bouncing on the top and sprinkle a bit of fresh thyme over the cheese.
Again, use fresh thyme, but we have lemon thyme at my house and that serves as a a nice contrast.
Black pepper is a great addition, too.
Then that’s it and away you go. It’s pretty simple. You may need some patience to do the caramelised onions, but it’s super easy to do it, it’s just practice.
I get that some people might find it intimidating but never fear, you have to forge on, because once you’ve done it, you’re like, ‘oh, this is easy.’
That’s my little recipe and I hope this is what you’re looking for.
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