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Asparagus Tart 

This image courtesy of Noel Murphy

English asparagus is unparalleled in flavour – use the freshest you can find to make this tart, which is perfect for a starter or light lunch. If you prefer, you can make several smaller tartlets.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealbrunch, lunch

Type of Dishsavory/pot pie

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2–3 tablespoons iced water
  • A bunch of asparagus spears
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups light cream
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan, finely grated
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • A few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350?F.

  2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with a large pinch of salt. Crumble in the butter and rub into the flour to give crumb texture. Add the iced water, one tablespoon at a time - just enough to bring the mixture into a ball of dough with your hands.

  3. Dust the worktop and a rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out thinly into a circle that is large enough to fill an 8-inch tart tin or dish. Carefully lift the dough circle into place and press it into the tin. Trim the edges with a knife. Prick the base all over with a fork, fill with baking beans and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

  4. Snap off the hard parts at the end of the asparagus, and trim the ends with a knife to neaten. Wash the spears well and place in a pot of water that will hold them horizontally. Bring to the boil, simmer for a few minutes until half cooked and drain.

  5. Remove the tart from the oven, remove the baking beans and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Leave the pastry shell to one side while you prepare the filling.

  6. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. Stir in the cream and then the Parmesan until well combined. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

  7. Dry the asparagus spears with paper towels. Arrange them in a fan in the bottom of the pastry shell, tips facing in. Carefully pour the egg mixture around the asparagus until the tart shell is almost full. Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until golden.

  8. Serve the tart hot, cut into wedges, with a green salad.

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