Asparagus and crab quiche

This delightful tart from Allegra McEvedy looks as good as it tastes and makes a perfect lunch for a sunny day
By Allegra McEvedy
Asparagus and crab quiche
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour 10 mins resting time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 125 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 egg white

For the filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 400 g white crab meat
  • 350 g fresh peas, in their pods, or 140g podded fresh or frozen peas, defrosted if frozen
  • small handful chervil, roughly chopped
  • bunches asparagus, (about 14 spears), woody ends trimmed
  • dressed salad leaves, to serve

Method

1. For the pastry: sift the flour directly into a food processor, add the butter and process until the butter is just incorporated and the texture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Tip in the egg yolks, one at a time, blending briefly between each.

3. As soon as the last egg is yolk is just about incorporated, turn off the food processor and tip the dough out onto a cool, clean work surface.

4. Season the dough with salt and freshly ground black pepper, splash on the milk then use a few strokes of your hands to just bring it together into a rough ball (it doesnt matter if it looks a bit crumbly or wet at this stage).

5. Wrap the dough tightly in cling film and rest in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap it. Using the coarse side of a grater, grate the dough directly into a 23cm flan tin then gently press it into place so the tin is evenly lined (you may not need all the dough - wrap any leftovers tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for patching up any holes that appear during baking).

7. Place the tin in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until the dough is firm.

8. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3.

9. Once the dough is firm, remove the tin from the freezer and transfer to the middle shelf of the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

10. Remove from the oven and brush with the egg white. If any cracks have appeared in the dough then patch them up with your leftover dough.

11. Return the dough to the oven for another 10 minutes or until an even golden-brown colour. Take the pastry out of the oven and set aside to cool.
12. For the savoury custard: lightly whisk the eggs and cream together with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

13. When the pastry is cool, sprinkle in the crab meat, peas and chervil then pour in the custard so that it almost completely fills the tart case.

14. Arrange the asparagus spears on the custard, forming a pattern like the spokes of a wheel, and push them down gently so that they are at least half submerged in the custard.

15. Put the tart tin on a baking tray and cook for 35-40 minutes until the custard is just set in the middle.

16. Rest the tart for 10 minutes to firm up before cutting into wedges and serving with dressed salad leaves.

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