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Onion Flan

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This delicious fibre-rich flan comes with a whole grain flour crust and plenty of aromatic onions and herbs. Serves four to six.

This delicious fibre-rich flan comes with a whole grain flour crust and plenty of aromatic onions and herbs.

Yeast crust:
3/4 cup (185 ml) rye flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole wheat flour or spelt flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) active dry yeast or fresh yeast (from the bakery)
1/4 cup (60 ml) lukewarm water
1 tsp (5 ml) Rapadura sugar or honey
1/3 cup (80 ml) kefir or buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp (2 ml) sea salt

Filling:
3 large onions (2 1/2 cups/700 g), coarsely diced
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
3 free-range eggs
1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) caraway
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, marjoram, lovage, chopped or 1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried herbs
1 Tbsp (15 ml) nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp (15 ml) dry white wine (optional)
1/4 lb (125 g) Emmenthal or Gruy? cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

To prepare the yeast crust, combine lukewarm water and sugar (or honey) in a small bowl and add yeast. Let activate for five minutes. Sift flour into a bowl then make an indent in it and pour in liquid yeast. Sprinkle with flour and let sit for 10 minutes, covered with a clean towel. Add kefir (or buttermilk) and salt. Knead dough for at least five minutes by hand or machine. Return to bowl and cover with towel. Let sit in a warm place for about half an hour. Dough should double in size. Punch down dough and knead again. Let rise for another half hour.

While the dough is rising, prepare the topping. Saut?nion in butter until translucent. Let cool. In a bowl, beat the eggs then add saut? onion, yogurt, caraway, herbs, yeast, wine (if desired) and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grease bottom and sides of a 10 1/2-inch (28-cm) springform pan and sprinkle with flour or line with parchment paper. Roll out dough and place along the bottom and sides of the pan. The sides should be lined about one inch (2 1/2 cm) high. The crust should be quite thin since the dough is hearty and crusty when baked.

Pour filling over dough and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 45 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm with an endive or corn salad and a glass of white wine.

If you are in a hurry, try this baking powder crust instead. Both types of crust are equally good in taste and texture.

1/2 cup (125 ml) butter
1 free-range egg
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sour cream
1/2 tsp (2 ml) sea salt
1 3/4 cups (435 ml) whole wheat flour or spelt flour

Combine all ingredients and knead into a dough. Let sit for 30 minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface. Grease bottom and sides of a 10 1/2-inch (28-cm) springform pan and sprinkle with flour or line with parchment paper. Line bottom and sides of the pan with dough. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Pour in filling and bake at the same temperature for 45 minutes longer or until top is golden brown. Serves four to six.

Source: alive #232, February 2002

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