French onion pie

February 22, 2019 (Last Updated: February 25, 2019)
French onion pie

A quiche-like pie that is ideal for brunch or as a side on a lunch sharing table.

Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi

Photograph by Sadiqah Assur-Ismail

French onion pie

By Claire Ferrandi Serves: 4 – 6
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins



  • 250g cake flour + extra, to dust
  • pinch salt
  • 125g butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) cold water

  • large knob butter, to fry
  • drizzle olive oil
  • small handful thyme leaves + extra, to serve
  • 3 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) fresh cream
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 7,5ml (1½ tsp) cake flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



For the pastry, place the 250g cake flour and the salt in a bowl and rub the 125g butter into the flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and combine until a soft dough forms, without over-working the dough. Form into a disc and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge to chill, 30 minutes.


While the pastry chills, make the filling. Place the knob butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and melt over low heat. Add the thyme leaves and onions, and cook over low heat, until the onions are soft and sweet, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


While the onions caramelise, beat together the fresh cream, milk and eggs in a bowl until well combined. Sieve in the 7,5ml (1½ tsp) cake flour and whisk to combine. Season the egg mixture well. When the onions are cooked, remove from heat and set aside until needed.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Dust a clean work surface with the extra cake flour and roll the pastry out to a disc of around 30cm in diameter and of 0,3cm thickness. Lightly grease, then carefully line a 23cm-diameter, loose-bottomed, fluted quiche tin with the pastry. If the pastry cracks or breaks in places, simply patch it up with the extra pastry pieces. Line the casing with baking paper, fill with baking beans or pulses and blind-bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, take out the baking beans or pulses and discard the baking paper.


To assemble the tart, arrange the caramelised onions in an even layer on the base of the blind-baked tart case. Pour over the egg and milk mixture and return the tart to the oven to bake, until the custard is just set, but with a slight wobble in the centre, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool, 5 minutes before serving or if serving a little later, heat in a 180°C oven, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the extra thyme leaves to serve.

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