British asparagus and chive tart

British asparagus and chive tart
The start of the asparagus season can’t come soon enough, can it? A much-loved seasonal vegetable and a good looking one at that, the British asparagus season is anticipated amongst home cooks and restaurant chefs alike.
British spears are harvested by hand and a good and plentiful crop is reliant on a cool, crisp early spring, not too damp, not too dry.
Simply boiled or steamed with a good amount of salted butter is delicious, but midway through the growing season, I think it reasonable to be just that little bit more adventurous.
  • Difficulty Easy


  • Shortcrust pastry 400g
  • Eggs 4
  • Double cream 300ml
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Asparagus spears, approximately, trimmed 15
  • Chives, finely chopped small bunch
  • Chive flowers, if you have them, to decorate


  • Step 1

    Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and put a large pan of well-salted water on to boil.


    Step 2

    Lightly flour the work surface then roll out the pastry (3–5mm thick) to fit a 26cm tart tin. Leave the edges of the pastry bigger than the tin, as it will shrink during cooking. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and line with greaseproof paper then fill with baking beans and blind-bake at 180ºC for 15–20 mins.

    Step 3

    While the pastry case is cooking, whisk three eggs in a jug with the cream and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then put to one side.

    Step 4

    Remove the greaseproof and baking beans from the tart case and continue cooking for 10 mins, until the pastry is crisp and golden. Remove from the oven.

    Step 5

    Beat the remaining egg and brush the pastry all over to seal. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the pastry flush with the sides of the tin. Reduce oven to 170ºC.

    Step 6

    Boil the asparagus spears in well-salted water for around two mins until just tender. Once cooked, remove and plunge into cold water, then drain well.

    Step 7

    Arrange the cooked spears on the tart and carefully pour the filling into the pastry case to fill. Bake in the oven for around 20–25 mins, until the filling is just set, still with a slight wobble in the very centre. It will firm up as the tart cools. Serve just warm and scatter with the chopped chives and flowers.

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