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Asparagus Gruyere Tart

copyright vaughan adams photography

Origin:  There is nothing more satisfying than biting into a tender asparagus tip, slightly steamed, yet still crunchy, oozing with salted farm butter!

Our shelves are bursting at the seams with this very seasonal vege and so it is time to get creative and try some new dishes to serve at your next Sunday braai, or as a lovely summer lunch with a salad.

This tart is so easy and literally takes about 15 minutes to prepare. You may vary the cheese, add other ingredients, or create your own tart in minutes.

(Be sure to visit the Ficksburg Cherry Festival this year from the 17th -19th November 2011 where the Asparagus Farms offer guided tours of their fields and harvesting barns. Click here to read a very interesting article on Asparagus grown in South Africa.)

 

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

(Serves 5-6 people)

1 sheet frozen buttered puff pastry                                             20-24 large fresh asparagus spears

4 thin slices Parma ham (any salty ham will do)                        2 tablespoons (30ml) basil pesto

125 ml Mascarpone cheese                                                            50 ml fresh cream or milk                                                   

 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese                                                        1 egg yolk for egg wash

Method:

  1.  Preheat oven to 220 o C.
  2. Slightly thaw the pastry and lay onto a baking sheet.
  3. Using a knife, mark a 3 cm border on all four sides by running the knife gently along the pastry. Do not cut all the way through. This will allow the outside border to rise creating a ‘dish’ to hold the filling.
  4. Line the inside with the ham.
  5. Brush the pesto onto the ham.
  6. Prepare the asparagus but cutting the tough wooded ends off, and steam gently for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from the steam and add to a bowl of ice water.
  7. Drain and dry the spears.
  8. Arrange the asparagus on the ham and pesto base.
  9. Mix together the mascarpone, grated gruyere and fresh cream.
  10. Spoon half the mixture onto the asparagus, and using the knife gently spread/cover the asparagus with the cream mixture.
  11. Egg wash the outer border of the pastry case.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes.
  13. The border would now have risen. Remove very quickly from the oven, and add the remainder of the cream filling.
  14. Return to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Absolutely divine – pastry light and crispy – gruyere cheese and marscapone make for a wonderful combination of flavour – definitely a winner this one !!!

    October 17, 2011
  2. Vaughan #

    One of the best tasting Asparagus dishes out there.

    October 18, 2011

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