Monday, November 19, 2012


An Onion Tart, known as Zweibelkuchen (onion cake) in its German birthplace, is always popular in the fall and winter. Alluding to the Reese's candy metaphor, what if a quiche collided with a pizza? Or what if a quiche and a pizza got married and had a baby? Or... well you get the idea. Zweibelkuchen shares genes with both a quiche and a pizza but is just different enough to be interesting. Bacon and sour cream and caraway seeds marry (A menage a trois?) on a nice onion-laden crust and form a delicious tart rendering a delectable luncheon treat, or a nice snack on a cool windy afternoon. Aw shucks, it would be welcome 'most any old time.

Zweibelkuchen is like a German cousin of the Gallic Pissaldiere, only the toppings above the main event, the onions, are different.

Zweibelkuchen is most often made with a yeast dough but can be made with pie pastry. You could even make the filling and use store- bought pastry. There was a lady who made this tart with frozen bread dough from the market. If you have a Kitchenaid or a Cuisinart, a yeast dough is easy to make, should you be so inclined. Use whatever crust you fancy. Early TV star Molly Goldberg used a prepared pie pastry for her Jake's Zweibelkuchen, so you certainly can too. Pre-heat oven to 450F/225C.

Zweibelkuchen             Serves 6



2 lbs onions, peeled cut into half and sliced into half-rings
Four slices of bacon, diced
16 oz/473 ml sour cream
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon caraway seeds

Fry the bacon but do not brown it, using a large skillet or a pot over medium heat.

Add the onions to the bacon and fry, stirring from time to time, until the onions are transparent, and soft, but not caramelized. This will take about 15 minutes. OR: You could put the bacon and onion mixture in a crockpot (sprayed with cooking spray) and leave untended for 5-8 hours. Slow cook them overnight if you wish.

In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, eggs, pepper and nutmeg.


¾ teaspoon baking yeast 1 cup warm milk
½ teaspoon sugar
3 cups flour
4 tablespoons butter
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk, add the sugar and a dash of the flour, stir, cover and keep in a warm place for ten minutes.

Add this and the remaining dough ingredients to your dough-hook mixer or food processor or bench board. and mix .Knead about ten minutes by hand, 5 minutes by dough-hook or one minute in food processor.

Cover and keep in a warm place for 45 minutes to let the dough rise.

Roll the dough out and place into a flat, large roasting pan. Two separate 9 inch square pans are good too. Just divide the dough in half. You want a ridge on the sides to provide a wall to hold the filling. The ridge should be about 1/2 inch high, then pour the onion and bacon mixture over the dough and spread it out to cover evenly. Optionally, you could sprinkle a little grated Swiss cheese over this if you like.

Pour the egg-sour cream mixture over the top, sprinkle the caraway seeds evenly and put it in the oven for 30-40 minutes, at which time it should be a lovely golden brown.

If you like pizza and/or quiche/pissaldiere and you know your onions, Zweibelkuchen is a pleasant, tasty diversion. Enjoy.


Unknown said...

HELL YES! I love onions :D gonna try my hand at making one of these. Thanks for the recipe :)

Joyce said...

Looks scrumptious! We always have an onion side dish of some sort at Thanksgiving since we're all big fans. This year my oldest is making French Onion soup for the starter. She took a soup class at a shop in D.C. and said this one was her favorite. I will try the tart later though...thanks for the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anthony! That certainly looks interesting. I do like onions. Happy Thanksgiving!

Manzanita said...

Hey Anthony,
My mouth is watering.... #1 because I know how sweet and savory the onions are. I used to make onion pie, way back in my cooking days and everyone in the family loved it. This sounds like each bite is a burst of delight.
#2.... because I'm on day 8 of a water fast. No hunger pains anymore but I'm satisfied with just looking at pictures of food.
You've got a winner here and I may make it and send it to my daughters for their T-Day dinner.
"Good eats" to you and your family on this day for giving thanks.
See ya.... Manzanita

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Hi there Anthony,

That is one big onion tart! Are you sure it only feeds 6?!

anthony stemke said...

IREDEV: You're welcome, we love onions too.

JOYCE: Hi, French onion soup is wonderful. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

SUSANNE DRAZIC: Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Susanne.

anthony stemke said...

MANZANITA: Man alive, am I glad to hear from you. I hope your fast ends soon. Good eats to you and yours this Thanksgiving.

DUNCAN D HORNE: That photograph is half a zweibelkuchen, my spouse wanted some so I sliced it and we each had a half before I thought to make a picture. This remaining half should serve three but with us it would be two. Here in USA we supersize a lot, I guess. cm

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Wow this looks fabulous and
mouthwatering! Great recipe!

Eat To Live said...

Oh my does that ever look good. I love a good sweet onion MMMmmmmmm you are making me hungry.

anthony stemke said...

JEAN: Thank you Jean. I hope you got through the hurricane ok.

MY JOURNEY WITH CANDIDA: It is good tasting, we love it.

Susan Oloier said...

I love quiche--even though the other members of my family don't. But they do love pizza. I need to try this out and see if it pleases the crowds.

anthony stemke said...

SUSAN OLOIER: Friends and family loved it and I think most people would likw it. My best to Zane and yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anthony,

You are a treasure trove of information on international foods.
Let me add one or two things.
Zwiebelkuchen comes from my neck of the woods and is a German/Alsatian specialty enjoyed mostly in southwestern Germany along the Rhine (from Switzerland) to Hessen (Hesse)
Along the Rhine the favorite drink is a Riesling, in Alsace it would be a very dry wine called Edelzwicker. In Frankfurt in Hessen the drink is Äppelwoi (dialect for apple cider with 5% alcohol), in Heidelberg on the Neckar they drink young wine called Federweisser (featherwhite) or Reisser (Ripper). The very young and unfinished wines are cloudy and either sweet or very tart.
These drink specialties also make the Zwiebelkuchen a seasonal pie eaten when apples and grapes have been harvested and processed.
There are festivals such as the Heidelberger Herbst (2 day festival meaning Heidelberg Autumn) where Zwiebelkuchen und Neuer Wein are the biggest thing on the menu.

There is a tasty alternate version that you can get in Alsace across the border that is callec Flammkuchen (flame cake).
This is essentially a yeast dough as thin as a thin pizza that is lightly covered with sour cream, lots of fresh onions and Speck (thicker than bacon, but essentially the same thing)and baked like a pizza.
Also very delicious.
The spelling is ie in Zwiebel which legthens the vowel preceding it. Pronounced Zweebelcoochen.

Hope I could share some local color.


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