Zwiebelkuchen

This marvellously rich, onion-and-cream tart from Germany combines the breadiness of a pizza with the egginess of a quiche. Inhabitants of the Black Forest eat it at midday, after a fortifying bowl of rindesuppe (beef-bone broth). Non meat-eaters can omit the ham or replace it with a handful of grated cheese. Don't be tempted to reduce the weight of onions - you'll need them all.

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes 50 minutes

Serves: 4 - 6

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 400g strong bread flour
  • 2 x 7g sachets fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50ml warm milk
  • 50g melted butter
  • Topping
  • 50g butter
  • 1kg red onions, sliced into thick rings
  • 2 large eggs
  • 142ml carton soured cream
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g diced ham
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram

Method

  1. Toss the flour, yeast and salt together in a bowl. Add the milk, melted butter and 150ml warm water, stir until it forms a soft, sticky dough then knead on a floured board for 5 minutes. Return to a clean bowl, cover and put in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onions for about 10 minutes, until soft but not brown. In a jug, lightly beat the eggs, cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7 and grease a large baking sheet. Tip the dough onto the sheet and roll or pat into a large rectangle about the thickness of your little finger, with a lip around the edge. Spread the onions over the dough. Trickle with the egg mixture, so the liquid settles in the rings without running over the edges. Sprinkle with the ham and marjoram. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough is well-risen and the custard set. Serve in squares with a celery and apple salad.