Savoury cheese and onion tart


Savoury Cheese and Onion Tart

Come one, come all as we hear tales from distant shores. A weird opening line, but followers of Jane-Anne Hobbs will know that aside from being a mother, a wife and bustling cook she is also THE source for Twitter news, sometimes tardy and macabre, always fresh and interesting.

To top it all off she is probably one of the longest running South African food bloggers and is such an inspiration to us young folk (blogging years people, in blogging years!) and I’m honoured to call her friend.

Her recipe submission is a goodie and my first attempt at baking a tart/quiche, a surprisingly good job if I don’t say so myself.

In her words:

I love the way this recipe has the word ‘savoury’ in front of it. What a lovely old-fashioned word it is. No one writes recipes these days that include ‘savoury’ in the title. But this tart (called a quiche these days) is indeed deeply savoury, with its topping of poppy seeds and halved stuffed green olives.

Anyway, this is a great recipe – another classic from my mom’s Seventies cookbook. It’s got far more Cheddar in it than any health-conscious cook would reasonably add to a quiche nowadays, but that’s what makes it so delicious – and the grated raw onion in it adds a lovely punch and crunch. The ideal dish to serve to a vegetarian guest who’s feeling hard done by.

This recipe was given to my mum by her friend the late great Val Horak. I’ve doubled it and tweaked it.

Savoury Cheese and Onion Tart

For the pastry shell:
250 g white flour
a pinch of salt
150 g cold butter, cubed
2 egg yolks

For the filling:
400 g grated Cheddar
4 eggs, lightly whisked
2 small onions, peeled and grated
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) cream
3 T (45 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley (fresh thyme is good too; use 1 T or 15 ml)
salt and milled black pepper

For the topping:
2 t (10 ml) black poppy seeds
10 pimento-stuffed green olives

Preheat the oven to 180°C. To make the pastry shell, sift the flour into a bowl and add the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Or blitz in a food processor fitted with a metal blade). Now stir in the egg yolks, and combine to form a stiffish dough. (Add a few drops of iced water if the mixture seems too stiff). Put the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes, then roll out and use it to line a greased quiche or flan dish.

Prick the bottom of the pastry shell and bake blind.

(Alternatively, if you’re feeling lazy and don’t mind a slightly soggy crust, simply press the pastry across the bottom and up the sides of the dish, using your fingertips, and then add the filling).

For the filling, mix together all ingredients and tip into the pastry shell. Cut the stuffed olives in half lengthways and press, cut side up, into the surface of the quiche. Sprinkle the poppy seeds all over the tart.

Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned.

Serve warm, with a green salad.

A few anchovy fillets draped over the top of the baked quiche (or pressed into the uncooked surface) lift it to another level. (Matt – I skipped this part)

Overall I thought it was fantastic and am most grateful that Jane-Anne shared it with me and in turn, you.

posted under Feb Foodies
3 Comments to

“Savoury cheese and onion tart”

  1. Avatar February 4th, 2011 at 4:54 PM Jane-Anne Says:

    Matt, thank you so much for your kind and generous words. You have really made my day with this post. It has been such a pleasure to help and encourage you in your blogging in a small way. And well done! The tart looks *exactly* like my mom’s version, my benchmark for excellence.

    I look forward to reading your recipes from other local bloggers!

    Thanks, mate.

  2. Avatar February 4th, 2011 at 6:26 PM ishay Says:

    Greetings from my perch atop a canopy of trees in Knysna. I was just thinking, a slice of this would be the perfect accompaniment to my glass of something cold. Well done! You have Janey’s stamp of approval on the tart- I hope you feel very proud of yourself! Incredible week of posts- treat yourself to a good weekend rest.

  3. Avatar February 4th, 2011 at 10:49 PM Matt Allison Says:


    I’m so glad you approve! It tasted delicious and I’ll certainly me filling it away to be pulled out again for dinner do’s.

    Ish, I’m glad you guys are enjoying your time away, relax and enjoy it! I’ll see you and +1 soon enough ;-)



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