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ASPARAGUS TART
(serves 4-6)

This delicious flan combines The Larder's superb Dorset Organic frozen shortcrust pastry with an all egg-yolk and cream custard. The difference between an average Quiche and a superior flan is like night and day.


1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry and use to line a 20cm/8in flan ring. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry into the case.

2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to relax - this prevents it from shrinking during baking.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.

4. Bake the pastry case blind: line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or dried pulses. Bake in the top third of the oven until the sides are cooked. Remove the beans and paper, then continue baking the pastry until there are no more grey, uncooked patches.

5. Remove the pastry and reduce the temperature to 160C/gas mark 3.

6. Cook the bacon, in its own fat, until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen towel. Break off the woody base of the asparagus and discard. Cut off the tips and chop the stems into smaller discs. Reserve a few tips to blanch and use for decorations on the cooked flan.

7. Mix together the egg yolks and cream.

8. Add the bacon, asparagus tips and chopped stems. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Pour the filling into the pastry case. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove, sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the filling is just set.

10. Serve with a mixed green salad.

Recipe provided by www.cambridgecookeryschool.com

INGREDIENTS

pack (187g/6oz) Dorset Organic shortcrust pastry

55g/2 oz smoked, streaky bacon cut into fine strips

300g/10 oz asparagus, whole tips and stems cut into discs

150ml/5 fl oz double cream

3 medium, free-range egg yolks

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Maldon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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