It’s good to eat in season, so we’re told. This in mind (and as the ethical, green types we are here at zero2one) I thought it fitting for us to share with you a delicious idea to celebrate the upcoming British Asparagus season.
As the the season starts in May and runs through to June the countdown is offically on.
Thanks to Valentine Warner and www.british-asparagus.co.uk for this tasty number.
British Asparagus and Crab Tart
Cooking time: 80 minutes
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
You will need 25cm loose bottom tart case
1 packet short crust pastry
1 egg, beaten for brushing the case
2 bundles of British asparagus
1 small onion very finely chopped
1 ½ tsp tomato puree
1 generous tsp Dijon mustard
300g soft fresh brown crab meat
300ml single cream
2 medium eggs
A heavy grind of black pepper & salt to taste
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°c
2. Take a tart case & roll out the short crust pastry nice and thin. Tuck neatly into the case whilst leaving the sides hanging down all the way around. Scrumple up some baking paper, this will help you fit it over the pastry, pour in some baking beans so the pastry is well weighted down.
3. Put the case on a baking tray and cook in the oven for approximately half an hour until the visible overhang appears to be turning a rich golden colour.
4. Remove from the oven, take out the paper & beans and put the tart back in for a further 5-6 minutes, in order to crisp up the bottom.
5. Remove from the oven and whilst still hot paint the entire of the case with a beaten egg.
Taking a small paring knife shave around the rim of the case detaching the overhang, this makes good bird food.
6. Cut the asparagus spears in half. Bring some salted water to the boil, drop in the asparagus and when the water starts boiling again cook for no more than 1 ½ minutes, drain, cool in cold water, drain again and thoroughly dry in a tea towel.
7. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onions slowly, this should take 10 minutes or so until they are totally soft and pale gold. Stir in the tomato puree and mustard and cook gently for a minute or so more.
8. Add the brown crab meat, followed by the cream, salt & pepper, stir it all together
Take off the heat and beating the entire time break in the 2 remaining eggs, beat in well. Leave to one side.
9. Scatter the asparagus into the pastry case, pour the crab filling over the top, gently return the tart to the oven & cook for approx 25-30 minutes. When the tart is nearly done, give the tray a little shake, the filling should wobble faintly in the middle. It is important to take the tart out at this time as it will go on cooking, you want the filling soft rather than overset.
10. Either eat warm or at room temperature.
Asparagus fans: why stop there? Our much loved client Richard Bramble will help kit out your kitchen in time for May. Visit his Asparagus Emporium online to see how one artist single handedly took on this powerhouse of nature.