You see, I’m not normally a tart or quiche person. I find them way too heavy, boring and poncy but this is genuinely delicious! Superficially healthy but actually topped with wonderful cheddar cheese, a light quiche filling and dill running through the pastry. The in-season asparagus keeps its crunch and is still the main flavour but the herbs and cheese really kick it up a gear.
Actually I think this might be classed as my first ‘grown up’ baking recipe! It’s still not perfect, a little uneven around the edges but it’s pretty and sophisticated and dinner party worthy, finally!
- 1 block of shortcrust pastry (or one portion of Michel Roux’s perfect pastry crust recipe)
- 2 large eggs
- 80ml semi-skimmed milk
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill
- 50g pecorino cheese, finely grated
- Large bunch of asparagus (see image)
- Prep time! First preheat the oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. It looks really pretty to use a rectangular pan, the length of the asparagus, but if not, grease and line any large-sized tart baking tin and we will arrange to fit!
- If making your own pastry: Use your hands to crumble together the butter and flour to a consistency resembling breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and continue to mix and work in your hands until a short dough is just formed. Over working the dough with make it too crumbly once baked.
- Turn the dough onto a clean surface and roll out between two pieces of baking paper. I then sprinkled the dough with small sprigs of dill and rolled them into the pastry for a pretty effect.
Anyway, aim for a rectangle just larger than your tin, around 1/2cm thick. Lift one side of the pastry, slip under the tin and lay back down. Make sure the pastry fit into the corners then line with parchment and baking beans. Blind bake for 20 minutes until just turning light golden.
- While your pastry is baking away, wash and trim the asparagus! Set aside and trim the dill from the main stalks and chop finely.
- In a small bowl beat eggs and the milk, season.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and lift away the baking beans. If it has a nice firm bottom 🙂 sprinkle over a small handful of cheddar and half the dill. Arrange the asparagus however they fit into your case, then pour over the egg and milk mixture. Artfully sprinkle the rest of the cheese and herbs on top of the tart.
- Place tart in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.