Asparagus Quiche…

25 Mar

This light asparagus quiche makes an elegant late lunch or dinner dish and is the perfect way to spotlight the humble spear.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp cold lard or vegetable shortening, diced
3 tbsp cold butter, diced
2 tbsp cold water

For the filling:
8oz (175g) asparagus
a little olive oil
4oz (115g) cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded, aged Cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions:

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add lard and butter and rub in with the fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in cold water to form a firm dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface. Roll out and use to line an 8in (20cm) tart pan with removable bottom, set on a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the pastry lined tart pan with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

3. Toss the asparagus in a little olive oil. Cook on a hot grill pan for 4 minutes, turning once or twice, until bright green and just tender.

4. Spread the cream cheese over the bottom of the pastry shell. Sprinkle with thyme, pepper, and Cheddar. Trim the asparagus to fit the tart. Scatter in trimmings and lay the spears attractively on top. Beat the eggs and half-and-half together with a little salt and pepper. Pour into the shell. Bake until the custard is golden and set, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before
removing the fluted ring. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 4–6 • Prep 20 mins, plus chilling • Cooking 45 mins

From: Sweet Spot

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