Wigmore, caramelised onion & thyme tartlets

They’re dangerously moreish!

Makes 8-10 tartlets

Puff pastry, (home-made recipe below) or 2 sheets of good-quality store bought
1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of milk
1/2 red onion, sliced
8 – 10tsp red onion relish (Rubies in the Rubble Pink Onion & Chilli Relish, or Asda’s Finest caramelised red onion relish)
200g Wigmore cheese, cut into 1cm thick slices (wide enough to almost cover your pastry base, we left this bit until we were topping our tartlets to get the size we thought would make the best ratio)
8-10 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt + Pepper
Balsamic glaze, to drizzle (home-made recipe below if you’d like to make your own)

For the tartlets:

Preheat the oven (fan assisted @ 200 degrees celsius)

Put the sliced red onions onto a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes and set aside to cool while you assemble the tarts.

Take your pastry from the fridge and roll it out onto a floured surface until it is evenly 1cm in thickness.

Using a 12cm round pastry cutter, cut out 8 – 10 rounds from your pastry (or as many rounds as you can get out of it). Place on a non-stick baking tray. Score a 2cm border around the edges of your pastry rounds, being careful not to cut all the way through. Prick the bases of your rounds with a fork, avoiding the borders. Then brush the tops with your eggy milk wash, ensuring it doesn’t drip down the sides (or your pastry won’t rise evenly).

Keeping inside the pastry border you just made, spread 1 heaped teaspoon of the onion relish on each of your pastry bases, then add a couple of the roasted red onion slices.

Scatter a few of thyme leaves over the top, and top the onion relish mixture with a 1cm thick slice of Wigmore cheese.

Sprinkle a couple more thyme leaves, sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper over the top of the cheese.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden and has risen – the cheese may have spilled over the edges before the 20 minutes is over (it did for us) but don’t worry about that.

Serve the tartlets warm, drizzled with the balsamic glaze and topped with a sprig of thyme.

If you’re making your own pastry & balsamic glaze

Rough puff pastry:
We made a batch of rough puff pastry for this recipe which you can prepare in advance or just before you assemble the tarts. Of course if you have time, you can make the real stuff. Or if you’re short for time/already have it to hand, you can use 2 sheets of good quality store-bought puff pastry.

250g strong plain flour
A good pinch of fine sea salt
250g butter, at room temperature but not soft
About 150ml cold water

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break up the butter into small chunks and loosely rub them into the flour so that there’s still bits of butter scattered throughout.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in 1/3 of the cold water. Mix until you have a firm rough dough, adding in extra water if needed.

Cover with cling film and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, kneading gently, and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll in one direction only, until 3 times the width (aim for 20cm x 60cm). Keep the edges straight and even. Be careful not to overwork the butter streaks, you should have a marbled effect – it helps keep the pastry nice and flaky while it’s in the oven.

Fold the top third of the pastry down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that to form a square book. Give the pastry dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling to use.

You can give this an additional roll and fold after this 20 minutes if you like, to create more layers in your pastry. Not too many though, or your pastry won’t rise!

Balsamic glaze:

While the tartlets are baking in the oven, you can make your own balsamic glaze.

Place 250ml of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half. Add 2tbsp of brown sugar and simmer until the mixture becomes syrupy and covers the back of a spoon. Then set aside until the tartlets come out of the oven, lightly drizzle of the tops before garnishing.