Today, we’re showcasing asparagus, a lovely ingredient that goes surprisingly well with egg, cream, and crisp pastry! A touch of Gruyere, or another nutty yet sweet cheese of its kind, pulls the whole thing together and creates an extra savory dimension.
You will need 8 small, fluted tart tins, with the removable bases; 10 cm sounds small but they are just the right size!
A rolling pin comes in handy, as does baking parchment when making this recipe, courtesy of the chefs at Rattan Direct.
More of a visual learner? Click here to see a short how-to video!
- 1 sheet ready rolled crust
- 2 bundles asparagus
- 3.5 ounces (1/4 lb) Gruyere, diced
For the Filling
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Bring the pastry out of the fridge at least an hour before use. This is totally contrary to the old wisdom, but as it is on a roll it simply cracks otherwise.
- 2 Preheat the oven to 350F. This will suffice for both pastry and tarts; a big quiche would not perform in this heat but the little ones are fine.
- 3 Grease the tins lightly and roll out the pastry to about half its bought thickness. Cut into squares and press lightly into the tins. Leave enough pastry to come up over the edges. Fold the pastry over the edges and press down with your fingers to create an indent yet not cut through. This will prevent the pastry from shrinking. Broken off after baking, it also gives a nice neat edge.
- 4 Line the pastry with circles of paper and fill, right to the top, with baking beans of some description. Lay the whole lot on a baking tray (you will probably get more than eight out of the pastry and mix if you have enough tins) and place in the oven for roughly 15 minutes. They want to be a nice golden brown and cooked all the way through.
- 5 Bring the bases out of the oven, remove the beans and paper, and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- 6 Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil. Add salt once it has boiled.
- 7 Snap the tips of the spears at a length that will fit your little tarts. The raw trimmings will make a lovely soup so don't worry about waste. Each tart will take 4 or 5 tips. 3 would suffice if you need to stretch it.
- 8 Drop the tips into the boiling water for just 1 minute and then drain and refresh under cold water until chilled through. Set aside on kitchen paper to soak up any excess water.
- 9 Whisk the filling ingredients together and pass through a sieve to get rid of any stringy egg bits. Then season; don't be too generous with the black pepper.
- 10 Fill the tart cases with asparagus, then cheese cubes. Transfer the tarts to a baking tray (lined, just in case) and place on the oven shelf. Fill the tarts with the mix, taking care not to overfill and watch out for any gaps at the top of the pastry where it may leak.
- 11 Push the shelf carefully into the oven and close the door for about 15 minutes. You want the filling to only just be set; even slightly under-set as the egg will continue to set as it cools. Even serving warm, you won't want these oven-hot.
- 12 Serve the tarts warm or at room temperature, with or without a side salad.