This lovely tart makes an elegant lunch or starter. It’s always popular with my guests and has never let me down. If you prefer, feel free to roast your own peppers.
Asparagus & Red Pepper Tart
For the pastry
250g plain flour
150g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
½ tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
10ml cold milk
For the filling
30-35 medium asparagus spears
3 large roasted red peppers from a jar, drained
1 egg yolk
140ml double cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
For the pastry, place the flour, butter and salt into a bowl and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and enough milk to just bring the pastry together. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Grease and line a 35 x 11cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thickness and use to line the prepared tart tin. Place the tart case in the freezer for 15 minutes.
While the tart case chills preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan.
Prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork, line with baking parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans. Bake the tart blind for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside in the tin.
Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and place into a bowl with cold water. Drain again and dry with kitchen paper. Trim the asparagus to 10 cm.
Cut the pepper into small dice and scatter over the base of the pastry case.
In a bowl beat together the egg, egg yolk, cream, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Pour ¾ of the mixture over the peppers than lay over the asparagus spears. Fill any gaps by spooning over the remaining egg mixture. Bake the tart for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before taking it out of the tin. Serve warm or allow to cool completely before serving.