It is springtime and asparagus is in season and growing thick and fast. We have a lot in the garden right now and the supermarkets are full too, so I decided to make an Asparagus Tart as a quick and easy lunch.
Fun fact - did you know asparagus is actually a type of grass?
This easy Asparagus Tart with Comte cheese is quick and simple and you can either serve it hot straight out of the oven or it's just as delicious at room temperature if you wanted to make it in advance. I used store-bought puff pastry, it's just so much easier and the all-butter versions are brilliant, it really takes the hassle out of things.
Asparagus is in season in the UK in April and May, and it grows alarmingly fast. We often have to pick it twice a day during warmer weather, as you don't want that spears to get too long or they can get a bit tough. Ideally, you pick when they are between 6 and 9 inches long. The really thick stems can sometimes be a bit woody which is why you don't find them in shops but this is a shame as they still taste good, you just need to trim a bit more off the base of the stem. An easy asparagus tart is one of my favourite recipes with asparagus and this is incredibly easy. Keep reading to find out how to make it yourself!
This recipe is best when asparagus is in season, but you'll find fresh asparagus in shops for most of the year and if you really have a craving for it, you should be able to find some!
I love cooking with puff pastry, and one of my favourite recipes to make is this salmon en croute.
- All butter Puff Pastry sheet
- Comte cheese
- Egg yolk
- Salt and pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F
Line a tray with baking paper and grease it with some butter.
Remove the puff pastry from the box and unroll it, making sure it fits on the tray. Prick it with a fork all over to avoid it puffing up too much and blind bake it for 10-12 minutes until it is lightly golden brown in colour.
Remove it from the oven, and turn the temperature down to 150 C / 300 F
Now boil some water and blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes, immediately putting them into ice-cold water to stop them from cooking. We want them to still be on the firmer side so that they don't go soggy. There are few things worse than soggy asparagus.
To make the cheese filling, simply add the grated cheese, yoghurt, milk and egg yolks into a bowl and mix together, seasoning with some salt and pepper.
Now we assemble the asparagus tart! Spread the filling all over the pastry, leaving a margin at the edges. Lay the asparagus spears over the top in a line.
Hint: If you want to make the edges extra crunchy, brush an egg wash (1 beaten egg) over them.
Bake the asparagus tart in the (now cooler) oven for a further 15-20 minutes until set. You'll know it's ready because the cheese filling will have enclosed around the asparagus and if you jiggle the tray, it will be firm and not still runny.
Slice it up and serve! I like it with some crisp salad. If you're wine pairing, we went with a very nice Cave de Turkheim Gewurztraminer from Alsace.
Substitutions and variations
Here are a few ways you can switch it up to suit you.
- Cheese - You could use Gruyere instead of Comte
- Pastry - use gluten free pastry to make this gluten free
If you are gluten-free, check out The Gluten Free Blogger who has some amazing recipes on her site.
You will need a baking tray large enough to fit the pastry on it. I also line it with baking paper as it makes it easier to move the tart off the tray after cooking!
If you don't finish the tart all in one go (which is unlikely, but) it can get a big soggy in the fridge. It will need to be kept cool though, and eat it within 2 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
I'll say it again, don't overcook the asparagus. They need blanching for a max of 2 minutes.
- Baking tray
- mixing bowl
- 12-15 spears Asparagus
- 320 g Puff Pastry Or one ready made sheet
- 120 grams Comte cheese
- 20 ml Milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon Yoghurt
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F
- Line a tray with baking paper and grease it with some butter.
- Remove the puff pastry from the box and unroll it, making sure it fits on the tray. Prick it with a fork all over to avoid it puffing up too much and blind bake it for 10-12 minutes until it is lightly golden brown in colour.
- Remove it from the oven, and turn the temperature down to 150 C / 300 F
- Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes in a saucepan of boiling water, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking
- To make the cheese filling, simply add the grated cheese, yoghurt, milk and egg yolks into a bowl and mix together, seasoning with some salt and pepper.
- Spread this filling all over the pastry, leaving a margin at the edges. Now lay the asparagus spears in a line over the top.
- Bake the asparagus tart in the (now cooler) oven for a further 15-20 minutes until set. You'll know it's ready because the cheese filling will have enclosed around the asparagus and if you jiggle the tray, it will be firm and not still runny.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove