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Asparagus Custard Tart

This tart is unapologetically rich -- there is puff pastry, Gruyere, goat cheese, and cream -- yet the overall effect is one of lightness. It's a handy make-ahead addition to a festive spread like this one, but paired with a green salad, it also makes a satisfying supper on its own.

  • prep: 45 mins
    total time: 3 hours
  • yield: Makes one 9-inch tart
Photography: Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, stalks and tips kept separate
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces Gruyere cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled into large pieces (1/2 cup)

Cook's Note

Crust can be blind-baked, cooled completely, and wrapped in plastic wrap 1 day ahead. Tart can be made 8 hours ahead and served at room temperature.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Roll out puff pastry into a 14-inch square on a lightly floured surface; cut into a 13-inch round with a paring knife (use a bowl or a plate as a template). Transfer to a 9-inch round baking dish or a 5 1/2-to-6-cup deep-dish pie plate. Prick all over with a fork. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tart shell with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake until edges turn pale golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove crust from oven and remove pie weights and parchment. Return crust to oven and bake until bottom is dry and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

  3. Step 3

    Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Add asparagus stalks and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; when cool, transfer to a plate and pat dry. Add asparagus tips to boiling water and cook 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to ice water; drain when cool. Pat tips dry and toss with oil in a bowl. Transfer stalks to a blender. Add eggs, cream, flour, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt to blender and puree until very smooth.

  4. Step 4

    Pour custard into crust. Sprinkle with Gruyere and goat cheese and top with asparagus tips. Bake until edges of custard are puffed, top is golden brown, and center is set, about 40 minutes. (Tent with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning.) Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes before serving.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, April 2013

Reviews (9)

  • 5 Nov, 2013

    This quiche was a huge hit when I made it! I added some cooked ground sausage to it for a bit more protein. I did need to cook it for about 20 min more and I simply didn't cook the puff pastry as much at first so that tenting was not needed. I took the advise of adding one more table spoon of flour and the texture was perfect. Enjoy!

  • 27 Jun, 2013

    3 stars as written, 5 with adjustments - with an average of 4. As others have said, double the flour, double the cooking time. Make sure you cover the edges of the puff pastry or it will burn. If you quadruple the flour, you might be able to lower the cooking time. That being said - when it does finally set up it is heavenly. Light, fluffy, asparagus flavored custard.

  • 10 Jun, 2013

    I have made this dish five times and each time it has been a huge success. One thing I do that might make a difference for others is that I use 2 lbs of asparagus instead of one and I use 2 TBS of flour instead of one. It does take a bit longer to cook than the recipe states, so it is really important to cover the crust to keep it from burning. Otherwise, this is a dream dish.

  • 7 Apr, 2013

    I've made this twice now and the 40 minute cooking time is not enough. I even increased the oven to 375 the second time. Perhaps more flour would help as another reviewer said.

  • 2 Apr, 2013

    I followed the directions exactly and I did need about 15 minutes more time in the oven. We served this as a side dish with the ham on Easter and it was a big hit.

  • 1 Apr, 2013

    This was a total failure, the custard would not set and kept adding 10 minutes, 10 minutes...after an hour and a half the puff pastry was crisped out (I tented) and the center still not set. skip this one.

  • 31 Mar, 2013

    We just wiped this out at this afternoon's Easter Feast. It was superb - as written. Perhaps I dried off the asparagus more intensely than others? The timing was perfect, even though I'm baking at nearly 9,000 ft. altitude (which generally adds lots of cooking time).

    Either way, this was a terrific (and likely permanent) addition to our spring holiday meals.

  • 31 Mar, 2013

    The last poster is correct. This dish, as written has to be baked for twice the time. (80) minutes. I will try this recipe again but with the following modifications. Not only will I pat the asparagus dry but will squeeze it to eliminate excess moisture before putting the stems into the blender. I will also add one heaping tablespoon full of white flour to the egg/cream mixture - this will help absorb excess moisture and give the tart a firmer texture quicker. And I will add 1 TBS Mayo.

  • 21 Mar, 2013

    Needs to go back to the test kitchens of MSLO. Directions said to put in a 350 oven after blind baking for 40 minutes. This did not work, custard didn't set. I found i had to keep putting back in the oven in ten minute incriminates until finally after 75 minutes it was still runny and pastry was overcooked. What a disappointment..