Mull Cheddar and Red Onion Marmalade Tartlets Recipe

This is a recipe that I created during my time at the award-winning Kilberry Inn. This tartlet recipe went down very well as a starter and was enjoyed by many of Kilberry Inn’s guests. It’s a great recipe if you are entertaining friends or family and it will teach you some good pastry skills. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

John McNulty
Head Chef, Taynuilt Hotel

Pastry Ingredients

(makes 8 small tartlets)

250g plain flour
160 salted butter
1 free range egg
1 tsp salt
1 pinch of sugar
1tsp cold milk


  1. In a large bowl, rub the sieved flour and butter together with your fingers until a breadcrumb texture. Add salt and sugar and slowly add the egg until a smooth paste. You may need to add the milk to loosen the dough (but don’t worry if you don’t need to use it).
  2. Shape into a ball, wrap with cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour to rest.

While this is resting, begin the red onion marmalade.

Red Onion Marmalade Ingredients

4 large red onions, thinly sliced long ways
170g salted butter
3 sprigs of thyme
4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
200 ml of Ruby Port
100 ml of red wine (preferably Chilean Carmener)
100 ml Madeira
50 ml balsamic vinegar
2 large tbsp red currant jelly

Egg Filling Ingredients

(to be mixed together)

6 free range large eggs
Pinch of sea salt
50 ml double cream


  1. In a thick bottomed saucepan add the butter, bring to a moderate heat and add onions, garlic and thyme, remembering to season with a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Sweat down and gently colour for 10 minutes then add port, red wine, balsamic vinegar and Madeira.
  3. Reduce by just over half for another 20 or so minutes.
  4. Once thick and sticky, stir in red currant jelly and taste to correct seasoning.
  5. Remove mixture from pan into a bowl and allow to cool.
  6. On a floured surface begin to roll out your pastry which has been setting in the fridge.
  7. Roll the pastry out to around 5mm thick ensuring it does not stick to your surface.
  8. Line your tart case with the pastry ensuring there are no rips or tears in the pastry, then using a fork, gently prick holes over the entire base of the pastry.
  9. Allow to rest in the fridge and bake blind for 15 to 20 minutes at 200 degrees until golden brown.
  10. Spread a layer of your red onion marmalade mix to the bottom of your tart case.
  11. Gently pour your egg filling mix over your red onion marmalade until just below the lip of the tart.
  12. Grate a generous amount of Isle of Mull Cheddar over the top of the tart.
  13. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until cooked.

Once cooked allow to cool and serve as a starter or a great vegetarian main course.