During week 1 of our Professional Certificate course, our students make a variety of delicious quiches and tarts and hone their skills by learning how to bake pastry blind.
For the filling:
250g asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
3 large free range eggs, lightly whisked
50g mature white cheddar cheese, grated
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the Shortcrust pastry:
170g plain flour, sieved
100g butter, cubed small (chilled)
1-2 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
- Put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until the fat and flour are combined to a breadcrumb consistency (this can also be done by hand). With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together (add just enough water to bind it). Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes before rolling out on a lightly floured work surface, place in a 20cm loose bottomed flan tin, prick the pastry with a fork and bake blind (line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with baking beans and place in the oven for 25 minutes until the base is crisp and golden. Remove the beans and paper.
- Reserve 6 asparagus spears, each long enough to fit from the centre of the tin to the outer edge, for later use. Chop the remaining spears into 4 cm lengths and place them over the cooked pastry base.
- Whisk the eggs and cream together and season well with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the asparagus before scattering the grated cheese evenly over the filled tart. Arrange the reserved spears in a fan pattern (or concentrically) over the top of the tart.
- Place the tart on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until risen and slightly golden.
- Leave to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad.