Wildschwein’s Zwiebelkuchen (German Onion Tart)

I have been eyeing off Zwiebelkuchen recipes for a while and finally threw together my own version for dinner tonight. It was quite easy to make and the result was delicious. It could be best described as a combination of a quiche and a pizza – having the luscious, eggy texture of quiche, but the easy-to-handle convenience and crisp crust akin to pizza!

The onions tasted incredibly sweet and savoury at the same time, providing a full-bodied flavour that you’d expect from something like browned-off chicken. This would be a great thing to make for a picnic or brunch because it’s quite satisfying but not too heavy, and is particularly enjoyable when served with a salad. It’s also handy to know because it can easily be made in bulk and served to many. To read a little background information on the dish, click here. The recipe went something like this…

Ingredients

Pastry

2 cups plain flour
60ml olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons yeast

Filling

4 medium onions, finely sliced
2 rashers of fatty bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
generous grinding of black pepper
generous grinding of nutmeg
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 eggs
2 heaped tablespoons sour cream

Salad & dressing

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
generous grinding of black pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon American mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil

a few handfuls of lettuce leaves

Method

Pastry

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and form into a dough. You may need to use additional flour if the mixture is too sticky.
  2. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  3. Cover and set aside to prove for at least 1 hour.

Filling

  1. Fry the bacon in the olive oil on medium to low heat for about 10 minutes, or until slightly crisped.
  2. Add the butter, salt, pepper, sugar and onions to the pan, frying for about 10 minutes or until softened and only very lightly coloured.
  3. Season with the nutmeg and stir well. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add eggs, sour cream and parsley, and mix well to break up the eggs.

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Roll the dough and place on a pizza tray or general baking tray. We used 2 medium pizza trays, producing two round pizza-shaped tarts (which we later cut in to wedges), but you could certainly use an oblong-shaped baking tray (and cut it in to squares instead). Make sure you form raised ridges at the edges of the pastry, so as to hold the egg mixture in.
  3. Evenly spread the bacon and onion mixture over the pastry.
  4. Place the tart(s) in to the oven for about 7 minutes or until the pastry has set a little.
  5. Remove from the oven. Pour egg mixture in to each tart, making sure it covers the onions evenly.
  6. Return to the oven and cook until lightly browned on top and crisp on the bottom.
  7. When ready, remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

We served our Zwiebelkuchen with a simple green salad of lettuce leaves, with a red wine vinaigrette. To make the vinaigrette, add all ingredients (listed above) to a jar, top with a lid, and shake well. Drizzle over leaves and serve.

Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Wildschwein’s Zwiebelkuchen (German Onion Tart)

  1. Hi there,

    I have a few questions about your decadent-looking Zwiebelkuchen recipe I’m hoping you could help me answer:

    -how many servings does the recipe yield?

    -can you make the crust in advance (the night before) — if so, how best to keep it?

    -will a regular cookie sheet or flat pizza tray work or do you need something a bit deeper to get the tart-like form?

    -can you add cheese to the tart? If so, what kind would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance for your help! And for the yummy recipe!

    Best wishes,

    Claire
    Portland, OR

  2. Hi Claire,

    Thanks for your interest in the recipe.

    1. I would say this recipe would feed about 4-6 people depending on whether or not you served it with other things like salad etc. It makes about 12 medium sized slices if you roll it out to a diameter of about 25-30cms. (Leftovers are good cold too.)
    2. Yes, you can make the crust in advance. In fact, it will taste better if you do. You could even make it a couple of days ahead and leave it covered in a bowl in the fridge.
    3. A regular cookie sheet will work fine, as you can roll up the edges of the dough to form a border to keep the egg mixture in. These are usually a bit flatter than a French quiche and a tad higher than a pizza – kind of in between.
    4. Cheese works very well. Just sprinkle some grated stuff over the top before you bake it. The kinds of cheese you could use would probably include a good Cheddar, or Gruyere, or maybe even some Swiss Emental – Something sharp and well aged would work best.

    Thanks again,
    Canaan.

  3. Hi Canaan,

    Thanks so much for your reply — I’ve never used a blog before and this is a great way to interact esp. in regard to particular things like recipes!

    I appreciate your tips and suggestions and have two more questions:

    1. After frying the bacon, (2 rashers = two slices, correct?) do you add the other ingredients to the pan without removing the bacon grease?

    2. I need to make a vegetarian version of this as well; will it all work and taste good by just leaving out the bacon? or do I need to modify other steps?

    Thank you again! Looking forward to the experiment.

    Claire

  4. Hi Claire,

    Glad to be of help!

    1. Yes, 2 rashers = 2 slices of bacon. And yes, you leave the bacon grease in the pan because it acts like oil. If there is an excessive amount of grease you could drain a little away, however leave enough in to prevent the other ingredients from sticking to the pan.

    2. This recipe would still be delicious minus the bacon. If you’re concerned that it will be less flavoursome just supplement it with some cheese. If you had some mock bacon for vegetarians on hand you could of course use that instead, too.

    Good luck!

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