While the weather here is grim, and I mean really GRIM, this tart is as close to a ray of sunshine as we’ll be getting for a good bit longer!. I’m talking incessant rain, gales and highs of a heady 10 degrees. And it’s the end of May! Needless to say the fires are still being lit and nightly hot water bottles filled. Quite ridiculous, but that’s enough moaning about the weather…..
One good thing though is the delightful occurrence of asparagus season, the weather may not feel like but the shops are brimming with glorious, magical spears. And round here of both the white and green varieties, though I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of the grown-in-the-dark former. It’s definitely the goodly green stuff that gets me going. And the blogosphere is full of it too, I can barely turn on my computer without there being an image of yet another fabulous asparagus (or rhubarb) recipe! And unlike the weather, I’m so not complaining about that.
So here’s my first Asparagus recipe of the year (yep, there’s more to come!). A simple Asparagus Tart made with an ever so easy homemade shortcrust pastry, a large bunch of lightly steamed asparagus floating in a creme fraiche, Gruyère, Dijon mustard and eggy deliciousness topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan. Oh it’s good. A little naughty admittedly, but hey what’s the odd tart here and there between friends.
Now for the bloggie challenges. Since Asparagus is so in season I’m entering my blog to Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season event. And to How to Cook Good Food and Franglais Kitchen‘s One Ingredient Challenge, hosted by Laura this month and so happening to be glorious Asparagus, yeah! And as it’s a totally made-from-scratch tart to Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays event.
Asparagus & Gruyère Tart
Great for toddlers & little people, bigger kids, family dinners, grown ups, parties, lunch or dinners, vegetarians, picnics
Enough for 4 – 6
For the Pastry:
130g of Plain Flour, plus a little extra for rolling
65g of Butter, straight from the fridge, cut into small blocks, plus a little extra for greasing
pinch of Salt & Pepper
an egg yolk and a little cold water
For the Tart Filling:
a 450g bunch of Asparagus, washed
3 free range Eggs
200ml of half fat Creme Fraiche
a heaped teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
100g of Gruyère, grated
Salt & Pepper
a tablespoon of finely grated fresh Parmesan
Special Equipment: a 19 to 25cm width quiche/tart case
Start by making your pastry. Easiest and quickest in a food processor, but can be made by hand too. If using a processor blitz the flour, salt, pepper and butter together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and blitz again. With the machine still on add a little very cold water and continue to add until the mixture starts to come together in one piece. Remove from the processor, shape together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
Alternatively, if you’re making by hand place the flour, salt, pepper and butter in a large bowl. Rub the fat into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and a little very cold water with your hands. Continue to add water until the mixture comes together in one piece. Shape together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6.
Whilst the pastry’s resting make your filling. Snap off the tougher ends of the asparagus and throw away, slice the remaining ends into 1 to 2cm slices, retaining spheres approximately half the width of your tart or quiche case. Steam over boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes until almost tender. Immerse in cold water, drain and set aside.
Lightly beat the eggs then stir in the creme fraiche, Dijon mustard, grated Gruyère, and pinches of salt black pepper. Set aside.
Lightly grease your chosen flan case with butter.
The pastry should now be rested. Roll out on a floured surface into a round slightly bigger than your case. Transfer to the case. Hang any excess of pastry over the sides. Prick the base all over with a fork. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over and fill with baking beans to weight down the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes in the hot oven, remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. While still hot trim the pastry around the top of the tart case to make a neat edge.
Place the small slices of asparagus in the bottom of the tart case. Pile on the creme fraiche filling. Now carefully arrange the asparagus spheres in a pretty ‘sunshine’ design on the top. Sprinkle over the Parmesan.
Slide in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm to touch and golden brown on top. Serve warm with a large leafy salad. Maybe some buttered new potatoes too.
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May 24th, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Very prettty sun-shaped tart. We can only get white asparagus here – can you get green? The weather’s not much better here – I believe this weekend it might shoot up to 20°C *shock horror*. I keep trying to tell myself how lovely and green everything looks but it’s getting old now; My bones need some warmth 😦
May 24th, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Oh what a shame, there loads of green asparagus here. In all the shops and markets I think? Maybe it’s very local to us. Heavy rain again with us now, and struggling to believe we’ll see the sun anytime soon!
May 24th, 2013 at 1:17 pm
Your tart looks lovely and I have a spare pastry case in the freezer from when I made your fab PSB tart, so may well use it for this. Warming food needed here again too – dancing round the maypole at my daughter’s school today and it’s freezing for them. The hedgerows are extremely lush from the rain but I am in dire need of some sun again now too.
May 24th, 2013 at 4:52 pm
I always freeze a spare case when I make a tart too, makes a take-away speed dinner then. Hope you’ve warmed up from the maypole dancing?! Raining here AGAIN, ahrrrrrrr. Exceptionally green, but at what a price….
May 24th, 2013 at 2:16 pm
It is pretty grim here in NYC too, your tart is like a ray of sunshine and so elegant and beautiful. I can’t get enough asparagus this time of year!
May 24th, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Well I’m glad it’s also grim in NYC, makes me feel a teeny weeny bit better! Got to love Asparagus eh?! This tart genuinely cheered me up, yeah.
May 24th, 2013 at 2:28 pm
I’m with you. I live in Holland where they go mad for the white stuff. Luckily, they sell plenty of the green stuff too, but the market shop where I get mine are always trying to get me to convert.
Funnily enough I made a tart from some leftover asparagus salad that I had, which was also delicious
May 24th, 2013 at 4:56 pm
I’m so not convinced why the rest of Europe are obsessed by the white stuff? I’m wondering if we Brits just prefer the green because that’s what we’re used to….?
May 24th, 2013 at 6:01 pm
I’m not sure about that, I only had asparagus for the first time a few years ago. I personally think half of the attraction of asparagus is that it tastes of green. Similar to coriander leaves. The white stuff just doesn’t give you a chlorophyll hit, and tends to have a slimier mouth feel, in my opinion.
May 24th, 2013 at 8:03 pm
Ah you could be right, asparagus does actually taste green!
May 24th, 2013 at 2:31 pm
How good does your tart look, I love pastry and filling it with fresh asparagus and cheese with a touch of mustard sounds like the perfect dish for a warm and sunny day. You won’t believe how cold it is here so I can dream of eating this sitting out in the garden with a lovely salad. Thanks for linking up to One Ingredient with such a winning tart!
May 24th, 2013 at 4:58 pm
Oh it’s cold here, about 9 degrees I think….and raining solidly. I don’t think we’ve even eaten dinner outside yet this year. It was late 30s this time last year….and endless weeks of glorious sunshine. Hey ho.
May 24th, 2013 at 5:16 pm
Looks delicious – I’m going to have to try this before asparagus disappears from the market! Thanks for sharing x
May 24th, 2013 at 8:01 pm
Oh please do! Hopefully there’s still a few weeks left…
June 13th, 2013 at 11:06 pm
Finally blogged about my attempt – here’s a link to the result! http://4ho.me/17Kst2D
May 24th, 2013 at 7:39 pm
I was just going to boil mine and serve with butter but you’ve won me over to the dark side! Looks delicious 🙂
May 24th, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Oh this tart’s most definitely on the dark side……all-butter pastry, creme fraiche and Gruyere. Yeah!
May 24th, 2013 at 8:15 pm
I love this tart! How beautiful and cheerful – and the use of asparagus with the creme fraiche sounds perfect… Simply beautiful…
May 24th, 2013 at 8:49 pm
Ah thanks Mark, I’ve made it three times now and never fails to cheer – the spirits and taste buds!
May 24th, 2013 at 8:46 pm
wow. it looks like a sunray…..
preety damn good,
btw, i’ve never had asparagus pie before, tempting to try….
May 24th, 2013 at 8:53 pm
Thank you! Just out of interest can you grow/buy asparagus in Indonesia?
May 25th, 2013 at 12:34 am
Looks amazing Louisa! We’ve finally got the picky eater here to eat asparagus, so I’ll have to make your tart soon – before she goes off it again. Hope your weather picks up soon.
May 26th, 2013 at 9:17 am
It’s funny how kids just can’t appreciate asparagus isn’t it? My kids loved the tart but picked out all the asparagus!!
May 25th, 2013 at 1:11 pm
Gruyère, dijon and asparagus, what a wonderful combination!
May 26th, 2013 at 9:18 am
Thanks Lisa. A naughty but very nice combination!
May 27th, 2013 at 11:37 am
That tart looks almost too good to cut! ALMOST, I said: I’m a great lover of Asparagus, a delicacy I find hard to resist. My homegrown Asparagus is only just getting going – about a month later than usual, as a result of the appalling weather. Our night-time temperature last night was only just over 2 degrees. Craziness!
May 30th, 2013 at 10:34 am
Look at you, homegrown asparagus! I bet it’s wonderful?! Definitely one of my favourite veggies too, in any shape or form!
May 30th, 2013 at 10:18 am
That is a beautiful tart Louisa! A big slice of this sounds so good for lunch! 🙂 Great post.
May 30th, 2013 at 10:44 am
Thanks Anne, it has to be one of my favourite tarts, but then I adore asparagus…
May 30th, 2013 at 1:24 pm
Gorgeous tart! It looks so creamy and deep! I love the addition of a little dijon in there too. Yum. xxx
May 30th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
Thanks Anneli, being a fellow Asparagus Addict I thought you might just like my tart!!. I actually made it three times (shame!) to get the right measure of cheese and cream/creme fraiche and it’s now pretty good…
June 4th, 2013 at 11:45 am
[…] & Gruyere tart by Louisa at CHEZ FOTI. This is such ideal weather to be enjoying as many tarts and quiches as possible. I love to make […]
June 4th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
A beautiful tart Louisa it looks super delicious. I have some asparagus and pastry in the fridge so my supper is sorted with your recipe!
June 5th, 2013 at 2:35 pm
Oh lovely, it’s such a tasty wee tart!
June 13th, 2013 at 2:37 pm
[…] hence the relatively high price of the fresh spears. I saw a recipe on the Chez Foti blog for an asparagus & gruyère tart and thought it looked so delicious that I’d have to give it a […]
June 20th, 2013 at 8:01 pm
[…] Next came a stunning Asparagus and Gruyere Tart from Louisa at Chez Foti – a great champion of Simple and in […]