Breakfast Tart: Caramelized Onion

Recently on social media, I asked for some ideas for new breakfast entrees to use at Bloomsbury Inn.  A great friend suggested onion tarts.  I began with a basic recipe.  I tried both puff pastry and pie dough.  Once I had decided on puff pastry, I experimented with different cheeses and then jams.  So, here is the basic recipe which can so easily be modified – only limited by where your imagination leads you.


  • 2 cups very thinly sliced onion (about 2 small onions)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 6 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives


1.  Place your oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F or 350°F convection.

2.  Cook onion, butter, water, salt, pepper and brown sugar, covered, in a heavy skillet over moderately low heat, 10 minutes. Be patient, not my style, but the result will be best. Remove lid and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is deep golden brown and very tender (not mushy), about 20 minutes.

3.  While onion cooks, unfold dough. I usually work on a floured, cotton tea towel.  Cut dough into 6 or 8 pieces.  Great use of the pizza cutter. You can also cut the dough using large biscuit/cookie cutters (round shapes or hearts for Valentine’s Day).  Once you have decided and cut your dough, score each piece 1/8 inch all the way around the shape.  Using a fork, poke the inside space liberally. Place the dough on a baking sheet.

4.  Stir together crème fraîche and chives and divide among shells, then top with caramelized onions. Bake until golden brown, 12 – 15 minutes.

Serve hot with eggs, fresh fruit, meat…they make a beautiful plate.


1.  For the crème fraîche substitute:

–   fig preserves (I love to make homemade preserves and think that any of ours would be good; we just love fig)

–   sour cream with fresh herbs

–   feta or goat cheese (I actually crumbled on top vs using below the onions)

2.  For the onion substitute:

–  use ½ caramelized onion and another vegetable (Roasted vegetables work well; if using steamed vegetables be sure they are very lightly steamed and then dried)

–  roasted brussel sprouts (I make brussel sprouts for a dinner meal – a trendy restaurant treat – and then use the leftovers.)

–  use ½ caramelized onion and a meat (Pancetta, lightly cooked bacon – remember it cooks more in the baking process)

3.  Don’t limit your thinking to savory options!  Fresh fruits with balsamic are beautiful or try citrus fruit curds.

WOW!  This friend’s suggestion has led to many great breakfast entrees.  Enjoy.