- 120g cold butter, plus extra to grease
- 225g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 medium egg yolk
- a drop of cold milk or water, if needed
- 300g asparagus, trimmed
- 275ml double cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 50g gruyère, or nutty cheddar, grated
- Rub the butter roughly into flour with your fingertips to coat.
- Stir in the egg yolk and a pinch of salt and, if necessary, a drop of cold water to bring it together into a dough.
- Form into a thick disc, wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and grease a 22cm round tart tin.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and use to line the tin, pressing it into the sides with a small ball of excess dough.
- Prick the base with a fork, line with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove the beans and paper and put back into the oven for five minutes.
- Steam the asparagus for about four minutes, until al dente.
- Chop into short lengths, and put about half of the stalks into a food processor (keep all the tops).
- Pour the double cream into a jug and add the eggs.
- Beat together, then stir in the puree and the grated cheese.
- Season well.
- Pour all into a shell
- Arrange the remaining asparagus pieces on the top of the tart. They may fall in, but some will remain and you will know where what is..
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes until jiggly but set, and golden on top, and allow to cool slightly before serving.