This is a very simple recipe, puff pastry excluded. When I learnt how to make my own vegan puff pastry I was overjoyed – the store bought one, even the allergen free one, sometimes I found it difficult to digest. In addition, I have to say that the home made version tastes better than the store bought one and the crunch is super different. That being said, this recipe can be replicated with store bought puff pastry very easily (there’s been plenty of occasions when I couldn’t make my own pastry and yet I NEEDED my comfort food -puff wraps with the taifun würstels for which I have a serious addiction 😂 – and it still worked very well!).
I had a bunch of red onions sitting there from my weekly oddbox and I love sweet and sour onions, especially with a touch of balsamic vinegar and flavors and colors of the autumn – well, I associate these flavors to autumn, because juniper and cloves pair so well in warm dishes.
The recipe is for a 22 cm diameter oven proof pan.
For the puff pastry (you will have some leftover puff pastry that you can freeze or use for something else, like the above mentioned taifun rolls 🥰):
** the puff pastry recipe is based on the one in Petra Stahlová’s Modern Vegan Desserts book. However, the recipe is pretty standard and in various occasions I have used different recipes that were not vegan, but I just swapped the regular butter with a vegan one and it worked perfectly, as long as you use not a soft one – I am quite happy with how Stork works for pastry. **
300g plain flour
50g cold vegan butter
150g very cold water
190g vegan butter
Mix together the flour, salt and butter and break down the butter. Add the ice cold water and mix well. Wrap the dough in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Prepare the butter: bash the 190g of butter between two baking sheets with a rolling pin in the form a rectangle. After having it rested for 15 minutes you will have to roll it out in the dough: I recommend you already shape it as a 25×15 rectangle when bashing it between the baking sheets – it works for me.
Roll out the dough in a 25×30 rectangle and in one half of the dough roll out the butter layer. Close pressing well the edges: the butter cannot escape its prison, it has to be locked in.
Put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough in a 20×50 rectangle and then do the double fold: fold each edge towards the center and leave a 2cm gap. Then fold with the edges line, like a book.
Repeat this process 3 more times, so that you double fold the dough 4 times.
Let at least 30 minutes between each fold,and wait 1h after the last fold before rolling out the dough and using it.
Tadaaaaaa. Your puff pastry is ready to be used for the tarte tatin 😍
For the “filling”:
~10 red onions, halved: the ideal would be to have all of them in the same size, which was not the case for me as I received them in my oddbox
1 tbsp juniper berries
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp agave syrup
A good grind of white pepper
Heat the olive oil in the pan and then place the onions all facing the same side. Let cook a couple of minutes on a medium flame and then add the spices and the sugar+syrup. I would have used all agave but the sugar gives the onion a nice caramelisation. Turn the flame to low.
Keep cooking for a few more minutes (~10 but check from time to time because this may vary based on the flame and the size of the onions) before adding the vinegar.
Turn the onions on the other side and cook until well caramelised and a bit darkened but not too soft because they will also have to cook in the oven.
Discard the spices and arrange the onions with the flat side up in the pan.
Preheat the oven at 200 C fan.
Roll out the puff pastry and cut in a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the pan, then cover the onions and tuck the pastry on the side. Put the pan in the oven and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before flipping on a plate and beholding its elegant glory.
(Also please please please never forget that the metallic pan is an amazing heat conductor so wear your kitchen gloves – I made this mistake and it was not pretty!).