Thursday, 28 November 2013


To say that I love France is an understatement. I was lucky enough to spend eight months working in Paris and I had some amazing adventures (which I am not yet ready to disclose here) As you would expect, I love French food, but I have to change many recipes because there isn’t a lot of vegetarian food in France. I have a raft of French recipes to share but today I have added this easy Asparagus Tart recipe because it is so typically French, it’s perfect for a summer evening and because Asparagus is at its best in Australia right now. This tart is more like a French Pizza than a typical tart, so I cooked it on a pizza tray!

Asparagus used to be served before weddings in France for its supposed aphrodisiac properties. It contains folic acid,  a fantastic protection against liver disease, which may help counter balance the red wine you consume with this meal. 

French Asparagus Tart

              Short crust pastry                                                  Filling

          250g plain flour                                  1 - 2 bunches of asparagus
          120g butter cut into cubes                    200g  Gruyere Cheese
          pinch salt                                           2 eggs 
          5 tbls cold water                                 250ml Creme Fraiche or cream
                                                                  Few sprigs of fresh thyme    
                                                                  Salt and Pepper   

Make a shortcrust pastry, rubbing butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, add salt and enough cold water, approx 5 tablespoons until the pastry comes together. Put it into a plastic container with lid and put it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can use plastic wrap but I try not to!

Roll out the pastry on a floured board into a round shape that will be just a bit smaller than a pizza tray. Butter a pizza tray, place the pastry carefully on to the pan and turn to edges of the pastry back onto itself to form a rim,  the pastry will be double thickness on the edge. (This stops the filling from running out.) Prick the base of the tart with a fork. Rest this in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees fan forced.

Add baking sheet and baking beads and blind bake for 10 -15 minutes and until it starts to brown around the edges. Take out the paper and pie weights and bake a further 8 minutes. 
While this is baking, trim the ends of the asparagus and cook in boiling water or steam for 3 mins or until they are just tender. Don't overcook!  Drain and pat dry.
Whisk the eggs, Creme Fraiche, salt and pepper together. Spread 2/3 rds of the gruyere cheese on to the base of the pastry shell. Take the asparagus and lay it on top of the cheese, spears pointing into the centre, so it looks like the spokes of a bicycle. Carefully pour in the egg and cream mixture, add the rest of the cheese and sprigs of thyme.
Bake for approx 20 minutes. Serves 6 - 8 people. I have served this with some roasted baby tomatoes on the vine and a green salad. Perfect! 
If you would like to learn more about asparagus, check out this link.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum. That looks so good. I think I am going to have to make this!