Lunches & Light Suppers/ Spring/ Summer/ Suppers, Dinners & Main Courses


I suppose this is based on a quiche but having experimented, I have decided that for me, a shallow tart with a crisp, short pastry gives the elegant proportions for asparagus. With other ingredients, I might use a higher proportion of filling to pastry (ie a deeper tart) but somehow, this works well as a light, summery savoury tart. Oh, and I unapologetically use my Magimix for making pastry, as I don’t have a light hand with pastry, but do what works for you! In terms of the cheeses, I have made this with Cheddar, Cheshire, Emmental and Gruyere in the egg mixture and it’s worked well. Parmesan in the mixture was less successful, as was Roquefort, both of which overpowered the asparagus (although I have other recipes using both of those in the mixture that are yummy). Dusting the top with Parmesan isn’t essential either and you can equally use Padano. We love this served warm, not hot, with a crisp green salad and a chilled white wine. I prefer not to use lemon juice in the salad dressing where I’ve used asparagus; somehow, for me, the flavours of asparagus and lemon fight unpleasantly so I avoid putting them together on the same plate.


Print Recipe
Serves: 4


  • PASTRY - 175g plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 45g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 40g lard, cut into small cubes
  • FILLING - 350g asparagus
  • 40g grated Gruyere cheese
  • 15g finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200ml single cream
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper



PASTRY - Sieve flour into bowl of processor, add cubed fats and process until resembling breadcrumbs


Add about three tablespoons of water and process until pastry comes together in a ball


Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour


Then lightly flour work surface, roll out thinly and use to line a 20cm shallow loose bottomed flan tin


Put in fridge for another half hour or so, during which pre-heat the oven to 180C/170C fan


After the half hour is up, prick the bottom of the pastry base lightly with a fork and line with parchment and baking beans


Place on a baking sheet and out in the oven for 10 minutes


Then remove the parchment and beans and bake for another 10 minutes


Remove and set aside while filling is prepped.


FILLING - Starting with the asparagus, snap off the ends at the natural break point and steam for about five minutes


Drain really well, mopping with kitchen paper - if you neglect this step, you may end up with watery, soggy tart, which is just horrid!


Cut into 1cm pieces and arrange over the pastry base


Beat together eggs, cream and the Cheddar or Gruyere and season


Pour the mixture carefully over the asparagus and sprinkle with the Parmesan


Place carefully on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and the centre feels firm

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