Wednesday 9 December 2015

Cheddar and Caramelised Onion Flan.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Guys, you must bake this flan.
It's a flan not a quiche. The difference? Not as deep and with a creamier, thicker filling.

This was a request from one of you guys so I hope you enjoy it. I had never thought of baking a flan before but now? I'm seriously considering baking two more of these beauties to stash in the freezer.

This flan is comfort food at its best. The vegetarian filling is great but the star is definitely the caramelised onions. So easy to do and using only two ingredients (onions + butter), it makes all the difference.

Once the onions have cooled a little, they're whisked with eggs, seasoning, mature Cheddar and just enough cream to bind. Then, poured into and baked off in a blind-baked, super easy shortcrust pastry case to golden brown perfection. One slice (hot or cold!)  will simply not be enough when it comes to this deeply savoury flan. And, if you want to use ready-made shortcrust? Go for it!

Savoury Tarts and Flans, previously: Halal Quiche Lorraine
Cheddar and Onion, previously: Cheese and Onion Pasties // Cheddar and Caramelised Onion Pasties

A Simple List of Ingredients:
For the Shortcrust Pastry:
1. Plain Flour
2. Unsalted Butter
3. Salt
4. Water

For the Cheddar and Caramelised Onion Filling:
1. Unsalted Butter
2. Onions
3. Eggs
4. Double Cream
5. Mature Cheddar
6. Salt and Pepper

Bismillah, let's begin!

Let's make the shortcrust pastry first. I prefer homemade but feel free to use ready-made too!

Into a large bowl, place 227 grams (8 ounces) Plain Flour along with a Pinch of Salt.

Next, we'll be using a little unsalted butter.

Measure out 112 grams (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter, cold. Cut it into cubes and add to the flour.

Rub the butter into the flour. You could also use a food processor for this.

You want your mixture to resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

Next, Water. We'll be adding it a tablespoon at a time until our dough comes together and begins to stick.

Once it starts to stick, bring it together into a ball.

Like so!

Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Whilst our pastry chills out in the fridge, we will get our onions on to caramelise. So, get yourself some unsalted butter.

Over a low heat, melt 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter in a frying pan.

Take 3 Onions.

Slice them in half, give them a peel and then slice into thin half-moons.

Once you've sliced them up (and maybe sobbed a little - I'm so sorry for making you cry but I promise all these onions will be worth it!), pop them into the pan.

Turn the heat up and let them sizzle a little. Then, turn the heat right down and let them cook like this for at least 30 minutes until they're soft and golden.

Like so! Once they reach this stage, turn off the heat and let them cool slightly.

Meanwhile, it's time to blind-bake our pastry. Pre-heat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 7. Grease a flan or tart dish. Mine measured 9 inches wide and was 1 inch deep. It also had a removable bottom which makes getting it out of the tin all the more easier.

Grab your pastry, unwrap it and place onto a lightly floured surface.

Start to roll it out ..

.. using your tin as a guide.

You'll want it slightly bigger than your tin. And, it does not have to be perfectly round.

Next, fold it up.

And, place it into your tin.

Shape it into the tin and cut off most of the excess pastry - do leave a little overhang at the edges.

Place a large sheet of foil onto the pastry. Onto the foil, place dried lentils or baking beans. Bake the pastry like this for 20 minutes. This is called blind-baking.

After 20 minutes, take it out of the oven. Remove the foil and lentils. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake again for 10 minutes. Set aside whilst we whisk up our filling.

The filling could not be easier. All you do is place your caramelised onions into a bowl.

Next, take 4 large Eggs.

Crack them into the bowl.

Until they're all in!

Next, the cream!

Pour in 120 ml Double Cream.

Then, the Cheddar! You can of course, use any cheese you like.

Throw in 140 grams Mature Cheddar, grated.

Then, 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder. This wasn't mentioned in the ingredients above because it's optional - but if you have it, add it in!

Last but not least, 1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper.

And, that is it! All you do now is give everything a good whisk.

Until you're left with a creamy mixture.

Place your blind-baked pastry onto a larger baking tray. This will just make getting it in and out of the oven, so much easier.

Ladle in your filling.

Smooth out the top and bake at 200 C / Gas Mark 7 for 30 minutes.

Bake until the top is a beautiful golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Let it cool slightly before you slice in!

Once it's cooled a little, remove it from the tin.

Slice and enjoy! I ate mine with steamed vegetables and roasted sumac sweet potatoes. So good!

Full Written Recipe:

Cheddar and Caramelised Onion Flan.

Prep Time: About 30 minutes.
Bake Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: Slices into 8 slices.


For the Shortcrust Pastry
227 grams (8 ounces) Plain Flour
112 grams (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
Pinch of Salt
Water, as needed

For the Cheddar and Caramelised Onion Filling
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
3 Onions, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons
4 large Eggs
120ml Double Cream
140 grams Mature Cheddar, grated
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper


To make the shortcrust pastry, place the plain flour, salt and butter into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. You’ll know this when the mixture sticks together.
Bring it together into a ball of dough. Flatten to a disc, wrap in cling-film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

To caramelise the onions, heat the butter in a frying pan. Once melted, add the sliced onions. Stir then turn the heat up. Let them sizzle for a minute or two.
Then, turn the heat right down and let the onions cook for about 30 minutes until really soft and golden brown. Stir, every now and again in between. Let them cool slightly.

To blind-bake the pastry, pre-heat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 7. Grease a 9 inch wide (1 inch deep) flan or quiche tin with a removable bottom. Roll the pastry to a size a little bigger than your tin. Place it into the tin and open it out. Trim any excess pastry except for a little bit over-hanging at the edges.
Place a large piece of overhanging foil onto the pastry and cover it with baking beans or lentils. Bake, like this, for 20 minutes.
Then, remove the lentils and foil. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake again for 10 minutes.

To make the Cheddar and caramelised onion filling, place the cooked onions in a bowl. Add the eggs, grated Cheddar, double cream, garlic powder (if using), salt and black pepper. Whisk everything together.
Using a ladle, pour the filling into the pastry case. Place the flan tin and put it into a baking tray – this’ll make it easier to get in and out of the oven.

To bake the flan, bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

To serve, let the flan cool slightly then slice and enjoy!

Your Photos:

This Time One Year Ago:
Double Chocolate Flourless Cake with Vanilla Cream

This Time Two Years Ago:
Roasted Tomato Soup

This Time Three Years Ago:
My Grandma's Potato Pancakes

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your flan,


Spice Enthusiast
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