This tart has an Italian twist, flavoured with creamy blue veined Dolcelatte and is best made in late April or May when asparagus is in season.
Asparagus and Dolcelatte Tart
- 150g plain white organic flour
- 50g butter cut into cubes
- 25g vegetarian Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 450g asparagus
- 3 eggs
- 100g mascarpone
- 100g dolcelatte
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas5. Grease a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
To make the pastry:
- The easiest way to make pastry is in a food processor. Place the flour and the butter into the food processor and mix well.
- Add the cheese and egg yolk to the flour and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the cold water, a little at a time and mix for only a few seconds until the pastry forms a soft ball.
- Remove from the processor, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- On a well-floured work surface roll out the pastry to 3mm thick into a circular shape a little bigger than the tart tin.
- Roll up the pastry onto your rolling pin and gently unroll the pastry over the tart tin.
- Ease the pastry into the tin, pushing it into the sides, but not stretching it as it will shrink back when it cooks.
- Trim the edges around the rim and fill any holes with spare pastry.
- Prick all over with a fork.
- Line the pastry case with silver foil or baking parchment so that the silver foil covers the whole case.
- Fill with dried beans and bake ‘blind’ in the pre-heat the oven for 12/15minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Lift out the silver foil and the beans and keep to use again.
- Put the pastry case back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the base is cooked.
To make the filling:
- Cut the tips off the asparagus at about 6cms and set aside.
- Chop the best of the rest of the asparagus.
- Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until just cooked.
- Drain, refresh under cold water and set aside.
- Steam the asparagus tips until just tender, refresh under cold water and set aside.
- Meanwhile in the food processor, whiz the eggs, Mascarpone, Dolcelatte and dill.
- Add the drained asparagus stems and whiz to a glorious green colour with a creamy texture.
- Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case and decorate with the asparagus tips.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until set and golden.