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asparagus, ham and walnut tart with gruyere pastry

from Nick Lawrence.

"This is a recipe that I ad-hocced yesterday, based on the fact that a farmer friend up in Norfolk gave me some lovely asparagus and I was looking for something a little more substantial than "steamed grass", as I think greengrocers call it.

"a note on cheese: I thought that gruyere would have the best flavour for this dish, but it turns out that the texture wasn't exactly right for the pastry: it came out quite heavy. I think next time I'll try using 50g of decent gruyere for the filling, with 50g of supermarket emmenthal (probably President brand) for the pastry."

100g plain flour
50g butter
100g gruyere (see note on cheese below)
a couple of tablespoons of cold water
300g asparagus, grade 1 or 2
100g smoked ham, roughly chopped
50g walnut pieces
2 medium eggs
250ml milk (cream would probably be better)
seasoning

grate the cheese, and make a shortcrust pastry with the flour and butter and half of the cheese (just mix it in with the butter).

leave the dough in some clingfilm in the fridge and put the oven on to 175. Meanwhile cut the asparagus spears into thirds and steam until they're about half-cooked. Also beat the eggs and mix them with the milk/cream and the remaining cheese, and add some seasoning (being generous with the pepper).

roll the dough out to fit a medium-sized flan dish; about 8in would be fine. Prick with holes and leave in the oven for 10 mins. When it is ready, spread the asparagus over the base and cover with the walnuts and ham. Pour the eggy filling in, making sure that it gets into all the corners. Then put the dish back into the oven for about 45 minutes. Devour.


2 comments to this

niles said on 25 Apr 2006 at 23:07:54:

This would be made with vegetarian ham, presumably? :)

ramtops said on 26 Apr 2006 at 07:16:45:

bah ... :),  Tags edited.

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posted by ramtops on 22 Feb 06 - 5797 views

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