This recipe came about because I love cheesecake bases – these crumbly and rich pastry made out of biscuits- and I wanted to create a savoury version.
Here it is! And the beauty of it is that it can be declined with plenty of different fillings: onions, spinach, pumpkin, you name it… The limit is your imagination.
For the base
- Oat cakes 300g (I chose the Fine Cheese Co ones for their butter content)
- Olive oil, 2 Tbsp
- Parmesan, 10g
- Pinch of black pepper (the Fine Chesse Co has pepper in it already but some don’t)
Crumble and mix: you can use a food processor or your hands for that but keep mixing until you get to a crumbly but holding texture. Add a drop of water if it feels too much like sand! Do get nice, “artisan” oatcakes, preferably without palm oil (do google the reasons why); I also love the Patterson oatcakes with olive oil.
For the filling
- Red onions, 6
- crème fraîche, 50ml
- Olive oil, 1 Tbsp
- Balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp
- Mascarpone, 50g
- Drizzle of rice syrup or agave
Slice the onions finely (I hate doing that and I’ll bribe husband or kids to do it for me- what is the point of family otherwise?…).
Let them melt on low heat with the oil until soft. Cover the pan but watch it carefully.
Towards the end, splash in the vinegar and a drizzle of rice syrup – if you do not like “sweet and sour” touches do not fret as usually the onions are sweet enough.
Pat the crumbly base into a cake tin – best to choose one with removable bottom. You just want a thick enough layer at the base, do not worry about building up sides. Too tricky… My philosophy is to keep it simple and enjoyable.
Put it in the oven at 170° for 10 minutes until slightly golden.
Mix the onion jam in a large bowl with the beaten egg, cream and mascarpone.
Take the base out of the oven and pour the filling inside the tin.
Put back in the oven for 20 min.
Serve with a big leafy salad.
PS: I also made recently a version with freshly steamed spinach that my son loved a lot better- not being such a fan of onions…