- 350g asparagus
- 40g cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbsp freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 284 ml single cream
- Fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
For the pastry
- 25g butter
- 25g lard
- 110g plain flour
- 25g Cheddar cheese, finely grated
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease a 71/2 inch flan tin with fluted edges – a removable base is recommended.
- First, make the pastry by rubbing the butter and lard lightly into the flour, then add the cheese and salt, plus enough cold water to make a smooth dough – about a tbs.
- Place the dough in a plastic food bag or wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- When ready, remove from the fridge and roll it out and line the tin with it, pressing it firmly into the tin.
- Prick the base all over with a fork and pre-bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove and paint the inside of it with a little of the beaten egg (from the filling ingredients), then place back in the oven and let it cook in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus.
- Take each stalk in both hands and bend and snap off the woody end, then arrange the spears in a steamer or steam over simmering water for 4-5 minutes (just to half-cook them).
- Chop the spears into 4 cm lengths and arrange them over the base of the pre-baked pastry case.
- Next, beat the eggs together with the cream and grated Cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper, then pour this mixture over the asparagus. Finally, sprinkle the Pecorino or Parmesan over the top, as well as a few basil leaves.
- Place the tart on the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes – until the centre feels firm and the filling is golden brown and puffy.
- Serve with some fresh basil leaves on top and a crunchy salad.