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Put the shallots in a large bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for 5 mins, then drain and peel. Cut the shallots in half (some will naturally break into two sections).
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the shallots and fry gently for 10 mins, until they are softened and lightly browned. Stir in the vinegar, thyme and 1 tbsp water, then cook for a further 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and tip into a non-stick shallow cake or pie tin, about 20cm across. Leave to cool.
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cut the pastry into two. Roll out each piece to about 5cm larger than the top of the cake tin. Put one piece of pastry over the shallots. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and cover with the second piece. Trim the edges of the pastry to a little larger than the tin, then tuck the edges of the pastry down the sides of the tin.
Bake for 25-30 mins, until pastry is crisp and golden. Leave to cool in tin for 5 mins, turn out onto a flat plate, cut into wedges and serve warm.
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