Well Dined

18Jun/130

Asparagus Custard Tart

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We are coming to the end of asparagus season, but you may be able to get one more use in - and I recommend this one.  An asparagus flavored custard with goat cheese and Gruyere, tucked inside a flaky puff pastry shell?  Yes, please!

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This Martha Stewart recipe uses the stalks and tips separately.  The stalks get pureed into the custard, and the tips decorate the top of the tart.

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The custard is made with asparagus, eggs, cream, and flour (I altered the recipe based on comments - adding more flour to help it set up).

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The custard goes into a pre-baked shell, then the cheeses are sprinkled on top, followed by the asparagus tips.

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The texture is gorgeous and the asparagus is definitely the star of the show.  Yum, yum, yum - get out there and grab the last of the asparagus!

Asparagus Custard Tart
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 heaping tbsp flour, plus more for work surface
Coarse salt
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, stalks and tips kept separate
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 oz Gruyere cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup)
2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled into large pieces (1/2 cup)

Roll out puff pastry into a 14-inch square on a lightly floured surface; cut into a 13-inch round with a paring knife (use a bowl or a plate as a template).  Transfer to a 9-inch round baking dish or a 5 1/2-to-6-cup deep-dish pie plate.  Prick all over with a fork.  Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line tart shell with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until edges turn pale golden brown, about 40 minutes.  Remove crust from oven and remove pie weights and parchment.  Return crust to oven and bake until bottom is dry and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add 2 tbsp salt.  Add asparagus stalks and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl of ice water; when cool, transfer to a plate and pat dry.  Add asparagus tips to boiling water and cook 30 seconds.  Drain and transfer to ice water; drain when cool.  Pat tips dry and toss with oil in a bowl.  Transfer stalks to a blender.  Add eggs, cream, flour, and 1 1/4 tsp salt to blender and puree until very smooth.

Pour custard into crust.  Sprinkle with Gruyere and goat cheese and top with asparagus tips.  Cover edges with foil to prevent over-browning.  Bake until edges of custard are puffed, top is golden brown, and center is set, about 80 min (start checking every 10 min at 50 min in).  Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes before serving.

Crust can be blind-baked, cooled completely, and wrapped in plastic wrap 1 day ahead.  Tart can be made 8 hours ahead and served at room temperature.

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