Onion Tart with Cantal Cheese and Caramelized Apples (Recipe)

Caramelized onions, sweet apples, and sharp cheese flavors all come together in this dish

Cantal is considered a favorite, or even the national cheese, of France because it is one of the oldest cheeses still being produced. It is named after the Cantal mountains in the Auvergne region, and is available in a variety of ages, each of which has its own flavor. If you cannot find Cantal, substitute sharp Cheddar.

Onion Tart with Cantal and Caramelized Apples

Makes one 8-inch tart

Tart Shell

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup lard or duck fat
  • ½ cup ice water
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a food processor bowl fitted with metal blade, pulse flour with butter and lard or duck fat until it is the consistency of cornmeal
  2. Add water and salt and process for 30 seconds, or until it forms a ball. Flatten the ball of dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator
  3. On a board or work surface lightly dusted with flour, use a rolling pin to roll out dough into 10-inch circle with a thickness of 1⁄8 inch. Line an 8-inch tart pan with the dough and chill tart shell for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F
  5. Prick bottom of tart shell with the tines of a fork and line it with parchment paper or wax paper. Weigh down paper with some dried beans, lentils, or rice
  6. Blind bake tart shell for 20 minutes. Remove paper and beans and continue to bake for another 10 minutes so that bottom dries out a bit. Remove from oven and reserve until needed


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 sage leaves, 2 chopped and 6 whole
  • Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Tbsp sugar
  • 1 apple (Gala, Fuji, or any tart-crisp variety), cored, peeled, if desired, and cut into small dice
  • Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup grated Cantal or white Cheddar
  1. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown; about 10 minutes
  2. When onions start to color, add chopped sage and season to taste with salt and pepper
  3. When onions are totally caramelized, about 15 minutes, remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and set aside
  4. In same pan, melt butter with sugar, add apples, and sauté over high heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar and cool
  5. Layer caramelized onions on the bottom of the reserved, prebaked tart shell and sprinkle with cheese. Evenly distribute the apples on top of the cheese.


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the cream until it is slightly warm and whisk it into the egg yolks
  2. Season custard with salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard, and pour it over the filling in the shell (above)
  3. Place the whole sage leaves on top
  4. Bake the tart until the custard is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting and serving

Recipe courtesy of Culinary Institute of America’s Mediterranean Cooking (2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Our Digital Partners

Learn how to become a digital partner ...