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Asparagus and Dolcelatte Tart

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

Serves: 6 

Ingredients: 

Pastry

  • 150g plain white organic flour 
  • 50g butter cut into cubes 
  • 25g vegetarian Gruyere cheese, grated 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tablespoon cold water 

Filling 

  • 450g asparagus 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 100g mascarpone 
  • 100g dolcelatte 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 

fresh Asparagus

Method: 

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas5. Grease a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. 

To make the pastry:

  1. The easiest way to make pastry is in a food processor. Place the flour and the butter into the food processor and mix well. 
  2. Add the cheese and egg yolk to the flour and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. 
  3. Add the cold water, a little at a time and mix for only a few seconds until the pastry forms a soft ball.  
  4. Remove from the processor, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
  5. On a well-floured work surface roll out the pastry to 3mm thick into a circular shape a little bigger than the tart tin. 
  6. Roll up the pastry onto your rolling pin and gently unroll the pastry over the tart tin. 
  7. Ease the pastry into the tin, pushing it into the sides, but not stretching it as it will shrink back when it cooks. 
  8. Trim the edges around the rim and fill any holes with spare pastry. 
  9. Prick all over with a fork. 
  10. Line the pastry case with silver foil or baking parchment so that the silver foil covers the whole case. 
  11. Fill with dried beans and bake ‘blind’ in the pre-heat the oven for 12/15minutes. 
  12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. 
  13. Lift out the silver foil and the beans and keep to use again. 
  14. Put the pastry case back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the base is cooked.   

To make the filling:

  1. Cut the tips off the asparagus at about 6cms and set aside. 
  2. Chop the best of the rest of the asparagus. 
  3. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until just cooked. 
  4. Drain, refresh under cold water and set aside. 
  5. Steam the asparagus tips until just tender, refresh under cold water and set aside. 
  6. Meanwhile in the food processor, whiz the eggs, Mascarpone, Dolcelatte and dill. 
  7. Add the drained asparagus stems and whiz to a glorious green colour with a creamy texture. 
  8. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. 
  9. Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case and decorate with the asparagus tips. 
  10. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until set and golden.            

Asparagus Tart

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