ASPARAGUS SPRING TART
I made this lovely tart over Easter weekend. The pie crust can be made in a bowl, so no need to dirty the food processor. I think it is a wonderful savory recipe to make throughout the Spring. Perfect for a Mother's Day brunch.
ASPARAGUS SPRING TART- with smoked salmon, leeks and gruyere cheese
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 medium leek(white and pale green part), sliced into small thin pieces
1 lb of asparagus, trimmed
1 package of smoked salmon sliced into small thin strips
1 block of good quality gruyere cheese shredded
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon (feel free to use fresh parsley)
2 teaspoons water
note-you can use a 9-inch flan ring that is lined with parchment paper. However- I felt more comfortable using a large old fashioned deep dish pie plate, to avoid any spills in the oven. It came out great and looked very pretty.
Combine flour, salt and butter in a bowl and combine with pastry cutter until mixture resembles course meal with some small butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with egg and gently stir with a fork (or this can all be done in a processor) just until dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and with the heel of your hand, roll and flatten out into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Making the filling:
Wash leek very well, slice and add to sautee pan with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and sautee until lightly golden
cook Asparagus in a pot of salted boiling water for 5 minutes, plunge into ice bath to stop cooking and then add to leek mixture and lightly sautee.
season with salt and pepper
Continue with filling preperation:
Whisk together 2 eggs,tarragon(can substitute with parsely) and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of saltand 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Add sliced smoked salmon
Add gruyere cheese
Add leek and Asparagus to filling mixture, saving some of the Asparagus tips for later
Lightly beat remaining egg and water and brush over the pie crust
pour the filling over the pie crust
Bake tart until filling starts to set for 20-25 minutes, Scatter asparagus tips over top, pressing lightly if necessary to help them settle into filling, then continue to bake until custard is golden and just set but still slightly wobbly in center, about 30 minutes more (custard will continue to set while it cools)
Cool tart on baking sheet on a rack until warm, about 30 minutes. Loosen edges with a sharp knife, cut and serve.
If using a flan , then lift off flan ring and serve.
Notes-You can make pastry dough 1 day ahead, Let stand to room temperature to slightly soften before rolling out.
serve with beautiful dishes that enhance the color of the Spring Asparagus, Leeks and Salmon
recipe is adapted from Gourmet magazine, but there have been many changes
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