The wonderful thing about this recipe is the fact that it makes a small amount of Asparagus go a really long way. Where I live, Asparagus is incredibly expensive and this is a good way of making it go further.
Asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very low in sodium. It is a great source of folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber, and rutin. But more importantly, it has a very distinctive flavor that goes very well in this dish.
I am going to offer two different recipes here, because I like to either make one large Tart and serve as an appetizer, or make lots of little small ones to serve as Hors D’ouevres. The only real difference in the two recipes is that the asparagus needs to be cut much smaller for the small pastries and needs slightly less cooking time.
I made a large tart in this case, and used Cheddar cheese, but other cheeses such as Swiss cheese also work well.
- For the pastry:
- 4 oz plain flour
- 1 oz lard (or Crisco)
- 1 oz margarine
- Cold water
- For the filling:
- 12-15 asparagus stalks (about ¾ lb)
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ pint heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Sliced tomato as garnish
- Pre heat the oven to 350F and place a baking sheet in to warm.
- Now, make the pastry. (See making pastry.) Roll the pastry out and either use all of it in the bottom of a pie pan, or cut into small rounds for a muffin pan. Prick the pastry with a fork and cook for 10 minutes if using one sheet or 6 minutes if using small pieces.
- While the pastry is cooking, cook the asparagus in a steamer for five minutes and cut into 1 ½ inch lengths for the big pie or ¼ inch lengths for the small ones. Take the pastry out of the oven and arrange the asparagus on the pastry, then sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese. Turn the oven up to 375F
- In a bowl,, whisk the eggs until they are frothy, beat the cream in to the eggs and season with a generous dash pf salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the asparagus and cheese and then sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes for the large pie and 30 for the small ones. The filling should be firm and the top should be golden brown and a little puffy.
- This dish is great either hot or cold. If serving the small ones as Hors D’oeuvres, I prefer to let this get cold. You can, of course make these in any size you like, just remember that the smaller ones will cook faster than the large ones.
- Bon Apetit!