Ingredients

4 tbsp vegan margarine
5–6 banana shallots, peeled, cutin half lengthways, roots trimmed
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp vegan-friendly brandy (optional)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 tsp cracked black pepper
320g (111⁄4oz) ready made vegan puff pastry
plain (all-purpose) flour, for rolling

Method

RECIPE TAKEN FROM MY CHRISTMAS COOKBOOK 

Preheat your oven to 170°C (340°F). Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to around 4mm (1⁄6in) thick, then cut it into a circle about 2.5cm (1in) wider than your pan.

Heat your ovenproof, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and melt 3 tablespoons of the spread. Add the shallots, cut-side up, making sure you have enough to fill the base. Cook for 3–4 minutes, then sprinkle over the brown sugar. Flip over the shallots using a palette knife – arrange them neatly, so that the base is covered and there aren’t any gaps.

Turn the heat down low, then add the balsamic vinegar and brandy, if using. (Allow the alcohol to cook off, leaving behind the sweet brandy flavour.) Add the leaves from one sprig of thyme and the rosemary and let the onions caramelize for 4–5 minutes. Sprinkle over the salt and pepper, then turn off the heat and dot the remaining spread on the top.

Carefully lift your pastry and lay it over the pan. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges using a wooden spoon so you don’t have to touch the hot pan, then pop into the oven to bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the pastry is lovely and golden.

Once cooked, remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool for 2–3 minutes. Place
a plate on top of the pan (make sure it’s larger than the pan!), wear an oven glove to protect the arm holding the board (some caramel goodness may drip out and it’s super- hot), then quickly, carefully and confidently flip the pan and board/plate to turn it out.

Serve straight away.

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