January 28, 2013

Zewelwai Onion Tart Recipe

By In Recipes
I wouldn’t go so far as to label it a hatred, its more a dislike; an intentional avoidance of all things quiche. This disinclination to consume the pastry-encased eggie dish I blame totally on my late grandmothers renditions. Not all her creations, far from it. Like all grandmothers, or at least the two I had, were great cooks but I recall one family gathering where a quiche of indeterminably flavour was served. And promptly thrown up by myself and a couple of younger cousins. Adults quickly removed the offending dish. And so a life-long dislike originated.

I fail to recall any similar childhood experiences that could explain the hatred of parsnips…

With such a declared dislike it might strike one as more than a little odd that I would make a quiche. And eat it. I’ve wrapped it up with the delusion of calling it something French – Zewelwai – and going all foodie-on-my-arse by engaging in a little food/wine matching but at the end of the day it is just a simple onion quiche.

What resulted from sweating a few onions for an age, mixing in a tub or two of crème fraîche and a grating of nutmeg was absolutely delicious, a supremely creamy and rich version quiche. And a great match with a white from Alsace, where as it happens, Zewelwai originates from.

The key is to sauté the onions incredibly slowly, covered for half the cooking time, in duck fat. Obviously making your own pastry would be ideal, but a ready rolled sheet of shortcrust worked supremely well.

Photos: Zewelwai Onion Tart

Recipe: Zewelwai Onion Tart

Zewelwai Onion Tart
A classic, rustic, Alsatian onion tart. Simple but very creamy with the sweetness of the onions unsullied by other flavours (although you could add bacon).
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
  1. 40g goose fat
  2. 600g thinly sliced onions
  3. 4 medium/large eggs
  4. ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  5. 400ml crème fraîche
  6. Short crust Pastry lining a 23cm loose-bottomed flan tin
  1. Roll out the pastry and line the tin. Chill for 20 minutes before putting in the oven at 200C. The pastry should be baked on a preheated baking sheet and initially covered with baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes until biscuit coloured. Remove the paper and beans and continue cooking for a further 5 or so minutes until golden all over.
  2. In the meantime cook the onions over a low heat in the goose fat. Keep covered for the first 10 minutes then, on a slightly higher heat, uncover for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions need to be very soft but not coloured. Season.
  3. Once cooked remove the onions from the heat and allow to cool awhile.
  4. Mix the eggs with the crème fraîche and nutmeg. Season a little and add the cooled onions. Pour into the pastry case and return to the oven, on top of the hot baking sheet, and continue cooking for about 30 minutes at 190C.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve warm, although it can be eaten cold.
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  1. Jeanne @ Cooksister February 13, 2013

    Holy cow – how have I never heard of this before?? Sounds utterly delightful. The Alsatians are good at doing interesting things with creme fraiche and onions (think flammenkuche… mmm!)

  2. Caroline Taylor March 26, 2013

    This sounds so good! Onions, pastry and goose fat, how could you go wrong?


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