Thursday, November 22, 2007

Asparagus Tart

Use good pancetta and good parmesan for this, it makes all the difference to the flavour. We served it with a tomato and basil salad, which went very well with the tart.

To make the pastry

200g plain flour

50gbutter chilled

50g parmesan cheese finely grated

3 tbsp cold water

pinch sea salt


85g pancetta

300ml thick double cream

2 organic eggs

1 organic egg yolk

85g parmesan cheese

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

175g frozen peas

6 asparagus, lightly blanched

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180

Sift the flour into a food bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Add the butter (I like to grate it into the flour. Make sure it’s nice and cold and keep dipping the butter into the flour) and cheese, crumble till it’s like breadcrumbs. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, until the pastry forms a ball. Wrap it in cling film and chill for about an hour.

Grease loose-bottomed tart tin with butter. Roll the pastry into a circle and line the tin. Brush the pastry with a little egg wash and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Heat a frying pan and fry the pancetta until just beginning to crisp.

Remove the tart base from the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes then place on a baking tray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, Parmesan and parsley. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the peas and pancetta.

Pour the mixture into the base, then lay the asparagus on top. Cook the tart for another 20-25 minutes, until it is just firm to touch.


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