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Onion and Jarlsberg Tart

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Onion and Jarlsberg Tart is a simple Norwegian-inspired dish with flaky puff pastry and fresh thyme.

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Savory pies or tarts are versatile for breakfast/brunch, lunch, or as sides to meats or other main courses. Sometimes they are hearty enough to serve on their own. Whether you use a classic pie or savory tart crust–or in the case of this Onion and Jarlsberg tart, puff pastry–savory pastry can be filled with so many wonderful combinations of ingredients. I love this particular tart for its interesting combination of spices, vegetables, and cheese. This is a Norwegian classic and the recipe takes inspiration from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Kitchen of Light”, by Andreas Viestad.

Components of Onion and Jarlsberg Tart:

Use a variety of onions in the filling for both visual effect and flavor contrast. I like red onion, cipollini onions, as well as shallots. Whole peppercorns, bay leaf, and cloves enhance the earthy onion family character, contrasted by the smooth, nutty flavor of the cheese. Jarlsberg is Norway’s most well-known and exported cheese, characterized by its mild, buttery flavor and distinctive holes.

Sauté the onions and spices in butter over medium heat until softened and just starting to caramelize. Season with sea salt and allow to cool to room temperature.

The puff pastry crust can be homemade, but a store-bought variety works just fine and saves an abundance of time. Puff pastry is a light and flaky pastry made from a laminated dough. This is a dough that is made by alternating layers of butter and dough. It involves wrapping a cold block of butter in the dough, rolling it out, folding it over, and repeating this rolling and folding process until hundreds of layers of pastry dough are created.

Line a baking dish with a thin layer of puff pastry. I used a 12 x 8-inch casserole dish.

Add the cooled onion filling to the crust.

Top with the grated cheese.

Add fresh thyme. The thyme really brings the onions and cheese together in a most harmonious way.

Bake the tart at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Serve while still warm, sprinkled with a bit of additional fresh thyme.

The Onion and Jarlsberg Tart would also be delicious with the addition of mushrooms and perhaps a bit of cooked and chopped bacon.

This savory tart pairs well with a medium-bodied Pinot Noir from Oregon and your favorite friends at brunch!

Onion and Jarlsberg Tart

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Onion and Jarlsberg Tart is a simple Norwegian-inspired dish with flaky puff pastry and fresh thyme. 
Prep Time:40 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:1 hour


  • Rolling Pin


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds mixed onions, peeled and sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 2 cups grated Jarlsberg cheese
  • Fresh thyme


  • Melt the butter in a heavy saute pan or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, shallots, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and sea salt.
  • Cook onion mixture over medium-low heat until onions are softened and starting to caramelize (15-20 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  • Roll out puff pastry to fit a medium-sized baking dish, so that the sides will overlap slightly.
  • Add the onion filling to the puff pastry crust in an even layer.
  • Top with the grated cheese and about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is puffed and golden brown.
  • Cool the tart slightly before serving with additional fresh thyme.


  • For variety, try adding a cup of sliced mushrooms or a few strips of chopped, cooked bacon to the filling when the onions have almost finished cooking.
  • Gruyere, gouda, parmesan, or fresh goat cheese would also be nice additions to the Jarlsberg.
  • Try pairing the tart with a medium-bodied red wine, such as a Pinot Noir from Oregon.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Fika, Holiday, lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Norwegian, Scandinavian
Keyword: Onion Jarlsberg Tart
Servings: 8

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