No need to say that I cried a lot this week ; cutting all those onions was some task. Lately I keep on going back to my mother’s Swiss recipe book and I try to make these same recipes but with my own touch. Switzerland is a big mix of influences coming from the bordering countries and this is many cultural and traditional traits which comprehend the food culture. This onion pie comes from the canton of Schaffhausen. Traditionally it calls for diced bacon and it doesn’t contain cheese, only cream and eggs. I thought it would be an idea to turn it vegetarian as not all of my acquaintances eat bacon. I made this pie the first time according to the traditional recipe but I found that without blind baking, the crust ended up to be a bit wet and not cooked all the way. My second try went better except that I must have been dreaming while the pie crust was in the oven because it ended up being a bit darker than I had planned; as you can see in the picture…
To avoid saying that this is not something one would eat when on a diet ; I’ll say that this recipe brings energy and heat for the colder months. I guess that serving a nice salad with it is a good idea as it brings a little lightness to the meal.
About the onion :
It is believed that the onion comes from central Asia and that it is one of the earliest vegetables cultivated (about 3500 years ago). By its resistance to different weather conditions it is easy to see why its cultivation spread to the rest of the world and why so many civilizations made use of it. The onion was the symbol of intelligence in ancient China ; the Egyptians made a large use of it and the Romans exported it to the north of the Alps. Very much appreciated and popular during the Middle ages it has conserved its reputation up to today (sources in French and Italian : www.legumes.ch and www.cookaround.com).
Swiss Onion Pie
For a 28-30 cm cake pan
Prep time : 15 min
Cooking time : 55 min
Pie crust pastry recipe for a pie dish 28-30 cm (or use a store bought one) :
100 g white flour
100 g wholemeal flour
100 g butter
½ tsp salt
For the onion pie filling:
500 g onion
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
2 dl cream
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
60 g Gruyere
Pie pastry recipe :
In a bowl mix the two types of flour, and the salt.
Cut the butter into cubes and place it with the flour mix. Rub the butter with the flour until the preparation has a sand like appearance. Lightly knead the dough and leave to rest for 20 min.
Once the dough has rested roll it out.
The following steps also apply to a store bought dough :
Heat oven at 200°C
Place the dough in a greased pie dish and incise it with a fork.
Place a sheet of baking paper on the dish and fill it with rice, beans or those specially made chains and place in the oven to blind bake for 15 minutes.
Cut the onions in half and slice them.
Heat the butter in a pan and add the onions. Cook until they have become translucent. Set aside and leave to cool.
In a bowl put the cream, the egg the nutmeg, the salt and the cheese and mix together.
Take the blind baked pie crust and place the onions at the bottom. On top pour the cream preparation and place in the oven for 30 min or until the top is brown. Serve hot.