Asparagus and Blue Cheese Flaky Pastry Tart

3:10 pm on 28 September 2012

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • flour for dusting
  • 1 sheet flaky puff pastry
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese - if you are not a blue fan try tasty cheddar or feta cheese
  • 500 gr asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • flaky sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C degrees.

Dust the bench with flour, roll the pastry into a 22 x 32cm rectangle, approx 4mm thin,  rest in the fridge for half an hour.  Place the pastry on a non stick baking sheet, trim the edges with a large sharp knife to form a 20 x 30cm rectangle.

Lightly cut the pastry, almost to the bottom 2 cm in from the edge all the way round, use a fork to prick the pastry - this is known as docking - to make lots of holes through the pastry, don't go on the edge!  This is to prevent it from rising up in the centre.

Bake until golden, approx 15 minutes.  Remove the pastry from the oven and press the centre part down, then sprinkle with half the blue cheese.  Trim the bottom 3 - 5 cms off the asparagus spears so that they fit neatly across the inside of the tart shell.

Place them in a single layer arranging them alternate top to tail. Brush them with the olive oil, sprinkle the remaining blue cheese over and season with salt and pepper.  Brush a little egg wash (made with 1 whisked whole egg and a good pinch of salt) around the edge of the pastry. 

Bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes or until the spears are tender.

I like to enjoy eating this tart with a fresh bowl of crisp salad leaves and my all time favourite classic Kiwi mayonnaise dressing.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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