Red Onion Tarte Tatin with Goats’ Cheese


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

French Countryside Cooking

French Countryside Cooking

By Daniel Galmiche

Published 2021

  • About

This is a twist on the classic tarte tatin as it is made not with fruit, but with onions – deliciously sweet red onions, to be precise – using more or less the same principle and technique. To go with my onion tart, I have chosen goats’ cheese, which for me is the perfect partner, and I have also created these as individual tarts, which means they are ideal for serving as a meal for a first course or lunch, and make a lovely dish to serve outdoors, sitting on the terrace or in your garden. My choice of accompaniment would be some fresh salad leaves, or a pea shoot or herb salad, either of which would go well.


  • 375 g/13 oz ready-made puff pastry plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 200 g/7 oz/heaped ¾ cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 6 red onions, peeled, root trimmed to the level of the base and cut into quarters
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 100 g/ oz soft goats’ cheese log, such at Ste Maure, rind removed
  • 1 tsp black onion seeds
  • 4 handfuls of pea shoots
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 4 discs, each about 20cm/8in in diameter. Put the pastry on a baking sheet, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for 25–30 minutes to prevent the pastry shrinking during baking.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C/315°F/gas 2½. Melt the sugar, lemon juice and 80 ml/ fl oz/ cup of water in a non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a low heat. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 10–12 minutes until it turns a rich golden brown. Divide into four 15cm/6in non-stick cake tins or ovenproof dishes. Put a thyme sprig in the centre of each tin, then put the red onion quarters, rounded-side down, into the caramel; there should be 6 quarters in each pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn the oven up to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
  3. Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and quickly and carefully put the pastry over the top of the onions, pushing the edges down into the sides of the dishes. Brush the tops with the egg wash. This needs to be done really quickly as the pastry will start to melt if you take too long. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the top, then return it to the oven and bake for a further 20–25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  4. Remove the tarts from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Put an upside-down plate the size of the dish on top of the first tart and, holding both the plate and dish, flip it over to unmould the tart onto the plate. Crumble the goats’ cheese over the top of the tart and sprinkle with the black onion seeds. Repeat with the remaining tarts.
  5. Toss the pea shoots with the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Serve the tarts as the cheese just starts to melt, with the pea shoot salad served separately.