Don’t look at the long list of ingredients for this onion and blue cheese tart and think for a minute this is a difficult recipe. Because it’s not. It’s without a doubt one of the finest recipes on LC. I’ve made it for what seems like a ballroom full of guests and no one can ever seem to get enough.

I do have one small caveat, though. Bleu de Gex isn’t the easiest cheese to find. Do some investigative work in your local markets, because the difference it makes is noticeable. If you can’t find it, Stilton subs nicely.David Leite

What is Bleu de Gex cheese?

Bleu de Gex cheese. Wondering what the heck is that? To be truthful, we asked ourselves the same thing the first time we encountered this recipe. More importantly, we also asked where can we find it? A scouring of New York City cheese shops left us empty-handed. (Well, not really, as we had a refrigerator full of some truly lovely cheeses…) If, like us, you can’t find the marvelous Bleu de Gex cheese, fret not. You can order it online. Or you can substitute Bleu d’Auvergne (another elusive cheese) or good old Stilton. Trust us, your tart will still be delicious, creamy, and requested time and again by friends and family. Any leftover blue cheese can be used to make this divine broccoli and blue cheese gratin.

An onion and blue cheese tart cut into wedges with crispy onions scattered around it.
An onion and blue cheese tart cut into wedges with crispy onions scattered around it.

Onion and Blue CheeseTart

5 / 11 votes
This onion and blue cheese tart is a savory pie made with roasted cipollini or pearl onions, a rich ricotta filling, and a creamy blue-cheese royale (translation: filling).
David Leite
CourseAppetizers
CuisineFrench
Servings8 to 10 slices
Calories534 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes

Equipment

  • 10-inch (25-cm) tart pan with a removable bottom

Ingredients 

For the onions

  • 1 1/2 pounds cipollini, boiling, or large pearl onions, peeled* (see *How to peel cipollini onions below) and quartered
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced sage leaves
  • t tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the tart dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (6 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained if wet
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the royale

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • 1/2 pound Bleu de Gex, rind removed and cut into 1/4-inch slices, (you can substitute Stilton or Bleu d’Auvergne)

Instructions 

Prep the onions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175C°).
  • In a small bowl, toss together the onions, olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until the onions are softened and begin to color but still hold their shape, 45 minutes.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you used our nifty peeling trick for cipollini onions found beneath the recipe, you may find you can reduce the roasting time by as much as 15 minutes since the onions have been partially cooked.

  • Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.

Make the tart dough

  • Dump the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas, about 10 one-second pulses. While pulsing the mixer, drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water through the feed tube until the dough starts to come together. If the dough isn't coming together, add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Don't overmix the dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a disc with your hands. Roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle, then ease it into a 10-inch tart pan, fitting it snugly against the sides and bottom, and trim the excess. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the filling

  • In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta, egg yolk, and olive oil until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper.

Make the royale

  • Whisk the egg, flour, and salt in a small bowl. Heat the cream and milk in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling, then slowly add it to the egg and flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche.

Assemble the tart

  • Spread the filling evenly in the tart shell. Scatter 3/4 of the onions in the tart shell and drizzle with the royale. Arrange the slices of cheese on top. Dot with the remaining onions.
  • Bake the tart for 30 minutes, rotating it 180° after 15 minutes. 
  • Loosely cover the tart with foil and bake for another 15 minutes. If the pastry needs more color, increase the heat to 400°F (200°C), uncover the tart, and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes.
  • Cool the tart in its pan on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Notes

*How To Peel Cipollini Onions

The one downfall of cipollini onions is that if you don’t know how to properly peel them, this can take forever. We suggest you cut off the root end on each onion and then drop them in boiling water for 2 minutes. The peels will slip off much more readily than trying to wrestle with the papery skins. If you use this trick, shared with us by recipe tester Nadine Bonda, you may be able to decrease the time to roast the onions from 45 minutes to 30 minutes because they’re already partially cooked.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 534 kcalCarbohydrates: 35 gProtein: 12 gFat: 39 gSaturated Fat: 18 gMonounsaturated Fat: 15 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 132 mgSodium: 429 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 5 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2005 Suzanne Goin. Photos © 2021 Cenk Sönmezsoy. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This onion and blue cheese tart is well worth the time it takes. It’s not only beautiful but it tastes divine. The filling is unlike a quiche filling in that it has more texture and taste with the addition of ricotta cheese and rème fraîche. The sweet taste of the lovely cipollini onions in combination with the bleu cheese is perfect. I served it for Sunday night dinner and it was a hit, described as “this is definitely a make again.”

The one downfall of cipollini onions is that if you don’t know how to peel them, they can take forever. I cut off the root end on each then dropped them in boiling water for 2 minutes. This allowed me to pull off the skin in a much shorter time. Also, because the onions were now partially cooked, I was able to cut the time to roast the onions from 45 minutes to 30 minutes. Both of these steps were a plus in doing a multi-step dish.

I used Bleu d’Auvergne cheese. I baked the completed tart for 30 minutes, but I did it on the middle rack in my oven to help it brown a little faster. It was perfect. It was nicely golden on the top and had a firm texture. I served it alone as dinner and found that it served two of us with an additional serving left for lunch tomorrow. 




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




29 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Second time making this delicious tart–remembered to quarter the cipollini onions this time,

    Bleu d’Auvergne is a gorgeous creamy cheese to use in this recipe. Lovely treat: will share with friends/family.

    1. Elaine, I’m so delighted you enjoy this recipe. And the Auvergne cheese is exquisite, if you can find it.

  2. 5 stars
    I just took this out of the oven within the past hour. Oh my, it’s wonderful. And the kitchen smells great! No luck finding Bleu de Gex, but substituted Bleu d’Auvergne. A few questions:

    1. No mention in the recipe for par-baking the crust to brown the bottom. I par baked mine, but is there any reason not to?

    2. The cipollini onions roasted in the oven for the required time. Some of the herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage) adhered to the onion, but there was a fair bit left on the baking sheet. Do you add that into the tart when assembling? I did, as I thought it would enhance flavour.

    3. The Bleu d’Auvergne cheese is gorgeous. I included the “rind” when assembling the tart. Is that recommended?

    I will be making this again…………thank you for sharing.

    1. Elaine, in this recipe the tart shell does not need to be parbaked. It’s one of the reasons why this recipe is easy. I’ve actually tried quite a few tart recipes without the blind-baking step and they all work just fine. And I would absolutely choose to add every bit of the herbs as you did. Why waste all that flavor? As to the cheese rind, my gut tells me to recommend not adding it to the filling, only because it may not melt into the rest of the filling as well as the interior of the cheese, not because it would affect the flavor negatively. That said, we’re so glad that the recipe was a success for you! And thank you for the photo! It is beautiful!