Fabulous French Onion Pies
French onion soup tastes so good because the French take their time with cooking and enjoy the process. Inspired by that culture, I have taken the soup base and turned it into delicious savoury pies. The labour comes from peeling and chopping all those onions (along with a few tears), stirring as it cooks and preparing the pastry, however this is a simple and rewarding recipe that is so tasty and will keep you warm and happy on the inside this winter. Bon appétit!
1.5kg brown onions, sliced thinly
2.5L beef stock
100gm butter, chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme
1.5 tbs fresh sage, finely chopped
Ground black pepper (to season)
180gm Gruyere, grated
1 pkt store bought puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten (for brushing pastry)
1. To make the pie filling, melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add in the onions and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on or until onions are soft. Stir halfway to ensure they don’t stick to the bottom. Remove the lid, add the thyme and sage and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, and simmer until it has almost evaporated. Add the remaining ½ cup and season with freshly ground pepper. Cook gently for another 15-20 minutes until the mixture is thick. Take off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
4. This recipe makes around 24 mini pies, so you will need enough muffin tins to hold that amount.
5. Line the tin with small squares of baking paper or generously grease with butter and olive oil spray.
6. Thaw the frozen pastry sheets slightly and, using a metal ring or glass (8cm in diameter), cut rounds into the pastry for the pie bases and lids. You will need 48 rounds, which will make 24 mini pies.
7. Place the pastry bases into the tin(s), spoon in the pie filling leaving ½ cm gap at the top. Put a generous amount of the gruyere on top of the onion then place a pastry round on each pie for the lids, gently pressing the edge of each into the pastry base.
8. Cut a ½cm slit into the pastry lid of each pie to allow steam to escape during cooking.
9. Brush each pie lightly with egg wash.
10. Place into the hot oven and turn the temperature down to 180 degrees. Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until pastry has puffed up and is golden.
11. Remove from the oven and each pie from the tin and serve.
Dana Sims is a Sydney-based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, check out her Instagram, @stone_and_twine.