Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin

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4.9 of 178 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
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Zoom on a caramelized onion Tarte Tatin with crumbled fresh goat cheese and thyme

This caramelized onion tarte tatin is a perfect appetizer or it can be served as a main dish with a green salad. To decorate this caramelized onion tarte tatin, I added some thyme and fresh goat cheese. 

What is a Tarte Tatin ?

Tarte Tatin is a French classic! It normally describes a sweet dessert made of a buttery puff pastry baked with apples upside down.

But you can make tartes tatin with all kinds of fruits and even savory tarts with vegetables. Baking in tatin style, i.e. under the pastry crust, makes the fruit or vegetables really soft and also enhances their flavours.

Zoom on a caramelized onion Tarte Tatin with circular patterns

List of ingredients

For this onion Tarte Tatin recipe, you only need a few ingredients that can be found easily.

  • Shortcrust pastry: See below.
  • Onions: I chose simple yellow onions. You can also make this recipe with red onions, shallots or sweet onions.
  • Sugar: I chose white sugar. You can replace it with honey or brown sugar. 
  • Balsamic vinegar: Balsamic vinegar will bring a touch of acidity and sweetness to the onions. I recommend a “real” balsamic vinegar from Modena, which has a syrupy consistency and is rich in flavor. 
  • Butter: Butter will help caramelize the onions. You can choose either regular or salted butter. 
  • Olive oil: I like to sauté the onions in a mixture of olive oil and butter for an extra touch of flavor.
  • Thyme: Thyme goes great with onions. I used fresh thyme sprigs and added it after cooking. You can use dried thyme and add it directly to the onions while cooking.
  • Fresh goat cheese: I like to add a little fresh goat cheese to this caramelized onion tart to give the tart a little creaminess.

You will find the exact quantities in the recipe card.

Zoom on a caramelized onion Tarte Tatin with crumbled fresh goat cheese and thyme

Which pastry should I choose for this onion tarte tatin?

To make this onion tarte tatin, you can use different pastry doughs. Personally, I recommend a shortcrust pastry because it will hold up better in the oven than a puff pastry.

Zoom on a homemade shortcrust pastry with thyme

To give a touch of originality to the recipe, I prepared a shortcrust pastry with thyme

If you don’t have time to prepare your own pastry, you can buy a ready-made shortcrust or puff pastry.

Zoom on a caramelized onion Tarte Tatin with crumbled fresh goat cheese and thyme

How to make this Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin

PREPARE: Peel the onions and cut them in half. This will create the beautiful circular patterns after baking. You can also cut the onions in thick slice if you prefer.

SAUTÉ: Melt the butter over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the sugar and mix well. Place the onions in the pan and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Add a dash of water and simmer for 30-40 minutes on medium-low heat. Turn the onions halfway through cooking. 

SHORTCRUST PASTRY: Prepare the shortcrust pastry by mixing the flour, salt, butter, water and dried thyme. Knead briefly and form into a ball. Set aside until needed. 

ASSEMBLE: Place onion halves in the bottom of a pan dish, cut side down. Pour the caramel on top. Roll out the shortcrust pastry with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Form a circle as big as your tart dish. Place the pastry dough on top of the onions. 

BAKE: Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C (preheated oven, convection).

SERVE: Loosen the edges of the pie crust by running a knife along the tart pan. Place a large serving plate on the pastry crust and flip the tart all at once. Remove the tarte pan. Add crumbled fresh goat cheese and crumble a few sprigs of thyme on top.

Zoom on a caramelized onion Tarte Tatin with crumbled fresh goat cheese and thyme

More French recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

How long kan I keep this Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin ?

You can keep this savory Tarte Tatin up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can I freeze this Tarte Tatin?

Sure! I recommend to cut the number of desired portions and place them in an airtight container in the freezer. They can keep up to 1 year.

How do I reheat this Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin ?

You can reheat it in a hot oven for about 10 minutes, covering it with aluminum foil if necessary to prevent it from blackening. To reheat it quickly, I put it in the microwave and finish with 2 minutes under the broiler.

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Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin

Click on the stars to rate!

4.9 of 178 votes
Here is a delicious recipe for Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin. The cooking in tatin style gives the caramelized onions an incredible taste and soft texture!
Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main course
Cuisine French
Servings 6
Calories 433 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 250 g flour
  • 125 g butter unsalted
  • 60 ml water
  • 3 g salt
  • 1 tablespoon thyme dried or fresh

For the tarte tatin

  • 1 kg onions
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100 g fresh goat cheese or feta
  • Fresh thyme

Instructions
 

PREPARE

  • Peel the onions and cut them in half. This will create the beautiful circular patterns after baking. You can also cut the onions in thick slice if you prefer.

SAUTÉ

  • Melt the butter over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the sugar and mix well. Place the onions in the pan and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Add a dash of water and simmer for 30-40 minutes on medium-low heat. Turn the onions halfway through cooking.

SHORTCRUST PASTRY

  • Prepare the shortcrust pastry by mixing the flour, salt, butter, water and dried thyme. Knead briefly and form into a ball. Set aside until needed.

ASSEMBLE

  • Place onion halves in the bottom of a pan dish, cut side down. Pour the caramel on top. Roll out the shortcrust pastry with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Form a circle as big as your tart dish. Place the pastry dough on top of the onions.

BAKE

  • Bake for 30 minutes at 180°C (preheated oven, convection).

SERVE

  • Loosen the edges of the pie crust by running a knife along the tart pan. Place a large serving plate on the pastry crust and flip the tart all at once. Remove the tarte pan. Add crumbled fresh goat cheese and crumble a few sprigs of thyme on top.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 433kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 9gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 463mgPotassium: 310mgFiber: 4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 752IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 3mg
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17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Looks amazing!
    Can you use just one oven proof pan (like for the apple tarte tatin) ? Or is it essential to cook the onions in a separate one and then place them in the stamp?
    Thanks

  2. 4 stars
    I premeasured my onions in my pie plate to make sure they were tight even allowing for some shrinkage but after they cook in the saute pan there was still quite a bit of room in the pie plate. I pressed the pie crust down tight around the edges of the onions in an attempt to keep the sauce from seeping out. That didn’t work. After baking, when I flipped it over onto a plate the onions aren’t the deep color that the edges of the crust are that soaked up the carmelized topping. The liguid that is surrounding the onions is quite thin which is was not this way when I scraped the sauce out of the pan I precooked the onions in. Going to let it cool and give it a taste!.

  3. 4 stars
    This tasted good! I agree that the reddish color is not as dark as the images here. I think the video shows more balsamic vinegar than suggested in the recipe. Even medium sized onions are hard to pack enough to get that great squeezed in look, like a mosaic. So its best to use small onions or even shallots to get them all densely packed. Cook them in the pan until soft. And maybe turn up the heat for the last few mins to to get that darkened, carmelized effect. Also, as the onions cook, they slip and slide and come apart when flipping in the pan and then transferring to the tart dish. Especially larger onions. Next time, I will keep the outside of each halved onion uncut, so the layers remain tethered while they cook. Like pointed hats. With this pastry recipe, my pastry was still quite thick for fitting a 9 in tart dish, and so it doesn’t cook through in the 30 mins bake time. Next time I will roll it down to about 1/2 inch thick, no matter what size tart dish, and just trim the edge. Also, before putting it in the oven, I suggest brushing the pastry with oil or melted butter or egg, because it can get a bit dry without it. It’s still very delicious with the combination of onion with vinegar, sugar and salt flavors. And the thyme aroma is fantastic!

  4. 3 stars
    The flavors are incredible. I think maybe I’m just not experienced enough with short crusts or thar I needed to let everything cool completely before baking. The caramelized onions with the glaze were too wet under the dough, which resulted in a rubbery, undercooked crust.

    I either want to try it again and let the onions/caramel cool completely before adding the crust (with better vent holes) or simply blind/par bake the short crust in the tarte pan and bake it all right side up so the syrupy/caramel goodness can evaporate more liquid off for a tarte that holds together better.

    I’ll keep trying! The balsamic onion caramel is one of my favorite new flavors ever!

  5. I made this my onion were not carmalizes enough. I watched the video and it looks like more than two tablespoons of water and vinegar were used. Also you put olive oil in the bottom of the tart pan. I will try again. Not sure about temp. I used 359 F convection.

  6. 5 stars
    Looks amazing. Silly question- I can serve cold correct? Want to make for book club “The Nightengale” . I think this would be perfect with chickory coffee – a nod to the war era.

  7. 5 stars
    Saw her Instagram video last night for this recipe and knew I had to make it today!

    Absolutely delicious! Whipped this up in just a couple of hours and everyone loved it! Mine did not come out this beautiful red rather more the color of the balsamic I used. Will definitely make again and can’t wait to check out more recipes.