- Serves: 6
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour chilling
- Effort: easy
For the pastry
- 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 110 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling
- 2 packs asparagus, spear tips
- 3 eggs
- 300 ml creme fraiche
- 125 ml milk
- 250 g smoked salmon, cut into small pieces
- freshly ground long pepper
For the raw asparagus salad
- 1 small handful asparagus
- 1 small bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 small bunch chives, chopped
- olive oil, for drizzling
- few fronds of dill, (optional)
Tips and Suggestions
Instead of whole slices of smoked salmon, you can use a pack of smoked salmon trimmings as the salmon needs to be in small pieces anyway.
1. For the pastry: sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the beaten egg and bring the mixture together to form a dough. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour. If it is too dry, add a splash of cold water. Wrap the dough in cling film and transfer to the fridge to chill for one hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 120C/100C fan/gas ½.
4. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 3mm.
5. Lift the pastry up on the rolling pin and drape it over 6 individual high-sided tart rings. Push the dough down into the sides of the rings and trim off any excess. (Any leftover dough can be wrapped in a freezer bag and frozen for use in another recipe.)
6. Line the uncooked pastry cases with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake blind for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and a light golden-brown colour.
7. Remove the baking paper and baking beans and brush the bases of the pastry cases with the egg yolk. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
8. Increase the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.
9. For the filling: blanch the asparagus tips in a pan of boiling water for about 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water. Drain and set aside.
10. Mix the eggs, crème fraiche and milk together in a bowl until smooth and well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground long pepper. Layer the salmon and the blanched asparagus in the tart cases.
11. Pour the filling over and cook in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and the custard is set.
12. For the raw asparagus salad: shave the asparagus spears into thin slices lengthways, then toss with the chopped parsley and chives. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil.
13. To serve, spoon the raw asparagus salad over the tarts and garnish with dill, if using.
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