Asparagus and Hollandaise Tart

This is a lovely delicate tart, making the most of our short UK asparagus season.

Asparagus and hollandaise work so well together and this tart is deliciously luxurious.


250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

160g cold unsalted butter

2 medium eggs

1 tbsp milk

Fine sea salt

200g asparagus

400ml double cream

4 medium egg yolks

15g Parmesan

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

55g unsalted butter

1 lemon

2 tbsp chives


Dice the butter. Place the flour and 160g butter into a bowl and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix one of the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt and add to the flour and butter. Bring the mixture together to form a dough, wrap in baking parchment and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. Trim any woody stems off the asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes or until tender, then refresh in cold water. Roughly chop the asparagus stems and keep the tips whole. Dust the work surface with a little flour and roll out the pastry to fit your tart tin. Place the lined tin back in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4 (350ºF/325ºF fan). Prick the base of the pastry with a fork, line with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes. Whisk one of the remaining eggs gently with a fork.Remove the parchment and beans, brush the pastry with the egg wash, then return to the oven for 10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Brush the pastry with egg wash and carefully trim the edges of the pastry with a sharp knife. Turn the oven down to 170ºC/150ºC fan/gas 3. Chop the chives and grate the Parmesan. In a large jug, beat the cream, egg yolks, Parmesan and chives, reserving a little Parmesan and some chives for garnishing. Add the asparagus stems and season well. Dice the remaining 55g of butter. Put the white wine vinegar in a saucepan over a low heat, then whisk in the butter a little at a time until you have a thick and glossy sauce. Add to the cream mixture, stir well and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Pour into the tart case, then dot all over with the asparagus tips and scatter over the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until just set but with a slight wobble in the centre. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Scatter the reserved chives over the tart before serving with a green salad. 


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