Jarlsberg Vidalia Onion Pie
When I think of Vidalia onions, I immediately think of the South, summertime and something sweet. In fact, if you didn’t know it, Vidalia onions originated in Vidalia, Georgia. They even have an Onion Festival in Vidalia every year – and this sweet variety is only grown in a 20 county region in Georgia. I love all onions, but they don’t always love me when I eat them raw, so I am in Heaven in the spring and summer when sweet Vidalias are plentiful. Vidalia onions are also the official state vegetable!
Onions are one of my favorite ingredients to use in cooking and they are the key to many dishes when layered along with all the other flavors. They are included in mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) as the basis of many dishes including soups and stews and they are wonderful when caramelized and take center stage in a classic French Onion Soup.
Jarlsberg Vidalia Onion Pie is another dish where onions are the star. These onions are sweeter and have a very different flavor than traditional onions. This is the perfect time of year to make this pie because as we get further into summer, the Vidalias get even sweeter. And who wouldn’t like a sweeter onion?
I couldn’t think of a better cheese to pair with Vidalia onions than Jarlsberg. It has always been one of my favorite cheeses to serve as an appetizer as well as to use in cooking. It has the robust taste of Swiss cheese, but is a bit creamier and has almost a nutty flavor. The combination of the sweetness from the onions and the delightful flavor from the Jarlsberg cheese had the husband doing a happy dance after making this dish.
He even gave his stamp of approval on the recipe. He kept saying how much he really enjoyed it (he ate almost the whole pie by himself!). I even made it a second time and added a bit more cheese to make the Jarlsberg really stand out. Forget this stuff about real men don’t each quiche (which is just a fussier name for a savory pie). This is now a summertime favorite at our house.
Serve this for a light supper or a luncheon paired with a salad and you have a little touch of summer and one of the specialties from the South.
Jarlsberg Vidalia Onion Pie
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium Vidalia Onions, thinly sliced
1 partially baked 9-inch pie crust (I use Ina Garten’s recipe) * See Cook’s Notes below
1 1/2 cups grated Jarlsberg cheese
3 whole eggs, at room temperature, preferably free range
1 1/2 cups half and half, preferably organic
3/4 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat until they are limp. Be sure not to brown them at all. Drain the onions on paper towels and arrange them in the bottom of the pastry shell. Cover the onions with grated cheese.
Beat the eggs and half and half together. Season with salt and cayenne pepper, and pour over the cheese.
Place the pie pan on the lower shelf of the oven and bake until the pie has puffed in the middle and is golden brown on top, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before serving.
* Cooks notes – I use 1/2 of Ina’s recipe for the pastry crust. Once chilled, I roll it and place it in a deep dish glass pan. For a partially baked crust – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place aluminum foil over the crust. Fill the pie pan with pie weights or beans. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until crust appears slightly brown on edges. Remove from oven and immediately take out the pie weights and aluminum foil. Slightly prick the pastry crust all over. The crust is now ready to fill. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and proceed with recipe directions.
Recipe courtesy of Bunkycooks.com