Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart

An Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart is a delightful and elegant dish, perfect for springtime brunches, light dinners, or as a sophisticated appetizer. The combination of crisp, buttery pastry, creamy goat cheese, and tender asparagus not only offers a variety of textures but also a blend of flavors that are both fresh and satisfying. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

  • - For the Tart Base:
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed if frozen, typically about 8 to 10 ounces)
  • 1 egg (beaten, for egg wash)
  • - For the Filling:
  • 1 pound (450g) asparagus, trimmed and cleaned
  • 4 to 6 ounces (113 to 170g) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Zest of 1 lemon, for added brightness
  • Fresh thyme leaves or other herbs, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). This will ensure that the puff pastry cooks to a perfect golden brown and flaky texture.
Prepare the Puff Pastry:
1
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit into a 9x13-inch tart pan or a baking sheet, trimming any excess pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much during baking.
2
Place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment paper. Brush the base with the beaten egg and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Blanch the Asparagus: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 2-3 minutes, until bright green and slightly tender. Immediately plunge the asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking process and preserve the color. Drain well.
Prepare the Filling: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, salt, pepper, and lemon zest (if using) until well combined.
Assemble the Tart: Spread the crumbled goat cheese evenly over the pre-baked tart base. Arrange the blanched asparagus on top of the goat cheese. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the asparagus and cheese, being careful not to overflow the tart base.
Bake the Tart: Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set and the pastry is golden brown. If the asparagus starts to brown too quickly, you can cover the tart loosely with aluminum foil.
Serve: Let the tart cool for a few minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves or other herbs before serving. The tart can be served warm or at room temperature.

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