Love and Olive Oil

Balsamic Onion Tart with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Balsamic Onion Tart with Goat Cheese and Thyme

I can’t remember when we actually made this dish (obviously before daylight savings time kicked in, judging from the summery light in this photo – oh how I covet thee…) But I do remember just how tasty these little tartlets were. A buttery pastry crust, rich onions cooked down with balsamic vinegar until they are so sweet you could almost mistake them for candy, and of course the goat cheese topping (because everything is better when sprinkled with goat cheese). A true delight that is not to be forgotten.

For what it’s worth, my pastry crust was rather ornery. Rather than rolling into perfectly smooth sheets, I did my best to press the crumbs of the dough-that-never-came-together into the pans. More like a graham cracker crust than a pie dough. But hey, it worked. Maybe next time I make these I’ll substitute the One Pie Dough to Rule Them All, whose sugarless goodness would be perfectly suitable in a savory application. We shall see.

Balsamic Onion Tart with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Makes 1 large (9 or 10 inch) tart or 8 small (4 inch) tartlets.
Recipe from Fisher & Paykel.


2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
115g butter
4 tablespoons iced cold water

2 tablespoons butter
4 white or yellow onions, very finely sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stem of fresh thyme

5 oz. soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or sprigs of fresh thyme


To prepare filling, melt the butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the onions, salt, pepper and thyme and cook gently for about 30 mins until the onions are soft and transparent but not browned, stirring occasionally.

Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking for another 30 mins or so until the onions are almost dry. Don’t rush this stage; the longer and slower the cooking, the better the marmalade will be. Remove the thyme. Set aside.

To make crust, in a food processor blend the flour, salt, mustard, pepper and butter until the mixture looks like fresh breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and pulse the food processor until the pastry just comes together. Don’t over-process. Gently pull the pastry together with your fingers, wrap the ball in plastic film and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to allow the pastry to relax.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll the pastry thinly and use to line a 9 or 10 inch tart pan in diameter or several mini tart pans. If your dough is exceptionally crumbly, you can also press it into the tart pan rather than rolling it. Line the uncooked crust with foil or parchment paper, fill with ‘baking beans’ or pie weights. It is essential to support the sides of the tart in this way to prevent them falling in and to stop the base rising. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is ‘set’. Remove weights and lining and return the pastry to the oven for another 10 mins or until the crust is cooked and golden brown.

Spoon the onion mixture into the cooked pastry cases and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake filled tart for 15-20 minutes or until the filling is hot. Garnish with thyme leaves. Serve warm with balsamic-dressed salad leaves and fresh crusty bread.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Rating: 5

    Fabulous. I’ve done both a Vegan and Veggie Tart. I used Stilton in the Veggie it was so scrumpy did not last long.

  2. Hi, I’ve just come across your blog and cannot wait to make these! They look amazing!

    In the recipe how much sugar is needed? It just says 1/4 sugar


  3. Wonderful recipe!! I just discovered your blog and I am going to be sharing your recipe on my food photography blog soon. I ended up cutting corners and using pre-made crusts to save a little time, but it turned out really delicious! Next time, I’ll make your recipe for the crust too!

  4. I just made this over the weekend. One comment: the crust ingredients seem like enough for two 9″ tarts! I stupidly tried to force it all into one pie plate when I realized that it was WAY too much dough. I rolled it all into two balls and used one of them for this recipe. The filling was great, though.

  5. Cant wait to try this recipe it looks absolutely amazing!!!

  6. onions + goat cheese = heaven.

  7. This looks delicious! Savory tarts are something I want to make more of. You can never go wrong with balsamic :) Thanks for the recipe.

  8. I just discovered your beautiful blog! These tarts look heavenly!

  9. This looks delicious!

    I miss the summer sun soo much. I can only bake for my blog on weekends now, and even then if i’m not 100% done by 2:45 bye bye good lighting for me

  10. Let me know if you try these again and the pie dough substitution works out. In the meantime, I think this would be a great brunch nibble item I could take and make for my next book club brunch. :) And because I’m a carnivore, I’ll add little bacon crumbles into the topping under the goat cheese.

    Happy Sunday!


  11. Wonderful! I bet these would be good as appetizers in tiny tart shells. Those onions sound divine!

  12. Hi, these look superb. I love the combination of caramelised/balsamic onions with goats cheese, and anything with pastry gets my vote too!

  13. Everything is better sprinkled with goat cheese! Beautiful looking tarts, I love the way the delicate crust looks (even if it did give you a bit of trouble).

  14. Lindsey this is a great shot. Thank heavens the days are getting a little longer.

  15. I wonder if this is the first time I’ve left a comment. I’ve been shamelessly following your site and admiring your recipes for at least a year without saying hello. There are many creative dishes here that I enjoy.

  16. These are so pretty and what a wonderful combination of flavors. How I miss that summer light!

  17. These look incredible! I love onion tarts. I have bookmarked this to make. Beautiful photos!!! :-)

  18. I love onion tarts and this one definitely goes to the top of the list. Yummy!
    :-) Mandy

  19. This looks fabulous…..right up my alley. The balsamic with the onions sounds divine!

  20. this looks like a perfect treat to make this weekend. I love balsamic and onions, and together they are heaven…but totally won me over w/ the goat cheese.

  21. What gorgeous pictures! And this looks so delicious…goat cheese and onions just GO together!

  22. The crust sounds like it would compliment the filling so nicely, it’s too bad it didn’t come together very well.

  23. This looks gorgeous and so, so delicious! I love goat cheese and thyme together, and I really like how you added cayenne to the crust. YUM!

  24. Love the use of mustard powder and cayenne in the crust, really great way to bring the crust and filling together! Oh, and I totally agree, a sprinkling of goat cheese never hurts!

  25. These look to die for! Anything with goat cheese is an automatic must try in my book.

  26. Just my kind of recipe. Sounds delicious!

    Claudia from Istanbul

  27. Onion tarts are quite possibly the best thing ever and are simply irresistible. This looks fantastic.

  28. This looks amazing! I’m a first-timer to your blog and I’ll be back for more! I love to cook and goat cheese def. makes it to my top favorite list of cheeses!

  29. Yum! Sounds delicious! I’m a huge fan of anything that can combine onions and balsamic!!

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