This particular recipe which I'm posting now comes from one of Rachel Allen's programs. If you are lazy you have the option of purchasing frozen puff pastry which will save you a bit of time. However if you do have time, it's always better to make your own. My other half who is not a "sweet toothed" person, thoroughly enjoyed this. It's amazing how the carmerlized onions blended so well with the saltiness of the anchovies and black olives. One piece of advice would be to make sure you cut each anchovy in half before latticing your pastry, otherwise it may be way too salty! Also make sure you eat this fresh from the oven. Serve with a side salad or just have it for an afternoon treat.
Recipe adapted from Rachel Allen's "Bake"
Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry:
200g plain flour, sifted
100g Butter, chilled and cubed
1 medium egg, beaten (for brushing the pastry)
Ingredients for the topping:
900g Onions, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
30-60g tinned anchovy fillets, drained (liquid saved for shortcrust pastry) and halved lengthways
10 black olives, pitted and sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced for decoration)
Method for the pastry:
1) Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process briefly.
2) Add half the beaten egg and continue to process. (You might add a little more egg, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together.) If making the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then, using your hands, add just enough egg to bring it together.
3) With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm thick, then wrap it in cling film or place it in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or, if you are pushed for time, in the freezer for 10–15 minutes, before using.
Method for the topping:
1) Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed frying pan, then add the onions. Stir the onions and cook over a low heat, covered, for at least 20 minutes, stirring continuously and scraping the base of the pan every few minutes.
2) Add the garlic, herbs and salt, pepper and sugar, and continue cooking for ten minutes, or until the onions begin to melt and turn golden. Remove from the heat.
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
2) Remove the pastry from the fridge, uncover and, with a floured rolling pin, roll out on a floured work surface into a rectangle to fit a 23 x 33cm swiss roll tin. Lift it onto the tin and prick the whole base with a fork. Bake in the oven for ten minutes, then remove.
3) Cover the pre-baked base with an even layer of onions. Arrange the anchovy fillets in a lattice pattern over the onions, placing a whole or halved olive within each diamond.
4) Return to the oven and bake for a further 25 minutes to allow the flavours to blend, and the pastry is golden brown and crisp around the edges. Serve hot or slightly warm.