By Jules Mercer
This asparagus and cheese tart is a beautifully easy way to jazz up veggies that are usually served as a lonely side dish. Perfect as a starter before a Sunday roast. The addition of a puff pastry frame adds light crunch and makes the plate look more formal. Meanwhile the combination of melted cheeses in this asparagus and cheese tart adds an extra layer of richness and indulgence.
How to roll puff pastry?
Most frozen puff pastry comes in folded sheets. Unfold it gently, and if you see any tears, use your fingers—and a little water—to gently nudge the pastry back together. To prevent sticking, always roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin too.
Can I prepare puff pastry ahead of time?
Yes, you can in most recipes. You can prepare this puff pastry and asparagus tart ahead by baking the case first and setting aside. Then add the filling and bake as directed prior to serving.
Do I need to blind bake puff pastry?
No, you don’t need to blind bake puff pastry. As long as you prick the areas you don’t want to rise with a fork, making lots of markings, it should bake fairly flat. In our recipe for this cheese and asparagus puff pastry tart, you will be fine. Some people describe these puff pastry tarts as a ‘galette’, although these are traditionally round.
- Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4. Unroll the pastry onto lightly floured baking parchment and roll into a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thin. Place on a baking tray with its paper underneath. Score a 1.5cm wide ‘frame’ all around the edge of the rectangle, taking care not to cut all the way through. Prick the inner rectangle all over with a fork.
- Beat together the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water to create an egg wash and brush the pastry frame with it. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Leave to cool.
- Meanwhile blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, then refresh under cold. Put in a bowl, season, then toss with 1tsp lemon zest, oil and a squeeze of lemon juice too.
- Sprinkle the gruyere and ¾ of the pecorino inside the pastry frame, avoiding the border. Top with the asparagus, neatly laid, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the asparagus has started to brown. Finish with more cheese, more zest and the almonds.
- 300g puff pastry (one medium packet)
- 200g pack of asparagus tips (approx 20 spears)
- 110g pack of fine asparagus (approx. 20 thin spears)
- 60g grated gruyere
- 30g grated pecorino
- 30g toasted flaked almonds
- 1 lemon, to squeeze & zest
- 1 egg for brushing
- Pinch flour
- 1tbsp Olive oil
Top Tip for making Asparagus and cheese tart
For more squidge and less crunch, throw some ricotta in too.
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