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Wild Garlic, Purple Asparagus and Colston Bassett Tart

Quiche seems to be the talk of the town with the impending coronation, so here’s a fun one I made earlier.

I’ve specified purple asparagus because it looks striking against the golden pastry and the dark green swirls of wild garlic, but normal asparagus would do. Likewise, I like that Colston Bassett is sweeter and gentler than many blue cheeses, but a Castello or other soft blue cheese would also suit.

I use a food processor to make the pastry because it’s much kinder than my warm hands when it comes to bringing the dough together, but you can just as easily rub the butter into the flour as long as you keep everything cold. Or, use ready-made shortcrust.

For the pastry:

  • 225g plain flour

  • Salt

  • 120g cold butter, cubed

  • 1 egg yolk

  • (Optional – pinch of finely grated parmesan)

For the filling:

  • 180g purple asparagus

  • 100g wild garlic

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 100g Colston Bassett or other cheese, crumbled

  • 284ml double cream

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • Nutmeg

  1. Whizz the flour and salt together (and parmesan, if using) in a food processor, then add the cubes of butter one at a time until you have fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Mix in the egg yolk. If it’s still too shaggy to form a dough, add a little ice cold water – but go easy on this.

  3. Pat it into a squat circle, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  4. Grease a 22cm tart tin and preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  5. Roll out the dough on a floured worktop then press it firmly into the tin and trim the edges.

  6. Prick the base a few times with a fork.

  7. Line it with baking paper, fill it with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

  9. Trim the ends off the asparagus spears and steam for about 3 minutes. Chop all but 3 or 4 into short lengths (these few will decorate on top).

  10. Chop all of the wild garlic except for three (good-looking) leaves.

  11. Saute the garlic in a little oil and wilt the chopped wild garlic (no more than 1 minute).

  12. Beat the eggs and cream together.

  13. Mix in the non-pretty asparagus pieces, the non-pretty wild garlic mixture, cheese and nutmeg and season well with salt and pepper.

  14. Pour into the tart tin.

  15. Arrange the pretty asparagus spears and wild garlic leaves on top of the mixture.

  16. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until set on top but a bit wobbly in the middle.

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