Literally meaning ‘onion cake’, zwiebelkuchen originated in south-west Germany and is similar to quiche. It is traditionally eaten in the European early autumn and is served with neuer wein (new wine), a young spritzy wine, but it could also be enjoyed alongside a cider.
- 260 g (1¾ cups) plain flour
- 125 g butter
- 300 g sour cream
- 400 g (about 6) middle bacon rashers, rind removed, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 700 g (about 4 large) red onions, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- green salad, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make pastry, process flour, a pinch of salt and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 50 g (¼ cup) sour cream and process until dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead into a ball and shape into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Wipe pan clean, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until needed.
Roll out pastry to a 36 cm round and use to line a 24 cm pie pan or 1.5 litre ovenproof dish. Trim pastry 5mm beyond the rim of the pan. Prick the base with a fork, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove beans and paper. Brush pastry with egg yolk, then bake for a further 15 minutes or until light golden. Cool completely. Reduce oven to 180°C.
Whisk together remaining 250 g sour cream in a bowl with eggs, then whisk in milk and season with salt and pepper. Add onions, bacon and chives, and stir to combine. Pour mixture into pastry case and sprinkle over caraway seeds. Bake for 1 hour or until filling is set and golden. If browning too quickly, cover with foil. Cool slightly for 20 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with salad.
Photography by Anson Smart.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3.