This was the first thing I made with the homemade ricotta. I managed to come across some fresh bunch of asparagus and I remembered Jamie Oliver from Jamie At Home doing one recipe like that except that he was using puff pastry while I prefer the shortcrust type. When I Facebooked that I was having this tart for lunch, some were wondering whether it was filling enough….well, this tart has a pastry base, baked with a filling made of two cheeses, eggs and yoghurt and to do the name justice; chopped asparagus inside the filling and on top. Is that ful-filling? I that to you and the eating to me. 🙂
ASPARAGUS RICOTTA TART
175 gms all-purpose flour
75 gms butter (semi-cold)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
Asparagus, chopped to even lengths but leave the tips whole
225 gms ricotts cheese (room temperature preferably)
2 tablespoons yoghurt
40 gms grated Parmesan cheese
1. Prepare your pastry, in a food processor, add your flour and salt. Break up the semi-cold butter with your fingers and drop it into the flour.
2. Pulse until you have a sandy-crumbly mixture. Let the processor run and pour in your water slowly, till the mixture clumps together but is still dry to handle with. You might need more or less water.
3. Knead the dough for few minutes on a floured surface. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
4. After an hour, take it out and knead it with your hands to get it warm again. Roll it out with a rolling pin to about half a centimetre thick. This pastry could fill two medium sized baking dish. Place your pastry over the dish and press it down with your hands to form a base. Trim the edges.
5. Poke the bottom with a fork all over. Blind bake it for about 15 mins in a pre-heated oven of 200 degrees Celcius.
6. While that’s going on, prepare your filling. Chop your asparagus and remove the woody, tough ends. Even after you have separated the ends, I suggest peeling off the skin nearer to the end because that point tends to be more fibrous. You don’t want to have peels of chewy asparagus when you bite into the tart.
7. Steam your asparagus till they’re slightly cooked but not all the way, about 3 mins. Plunge it into cold water to stop the cooking and strain it.
8. Mix the rest of the filling ingredients together. Pour in your asparagus but not the tips. Mix.
9. Take out your pastry base. Take away the blind bake beans/rice. Pour your filling into the pastry case, spreading it out evenly.
10. Take the tips of the asparagus and spread it around the top in a pattern (or not). A good tip is to brush the top asparagus with some melted butter so they won’t char when baking in the oven.
11. Place the tarts on a tray and back into the oven but at a temperature of 180 degrees Celcius for a good 20 minutes or until the top has browned.
12. Eat as it is or with salads in the side.
Note; If you have leftovers, wrap the top in foil and heat it up in an oven instead of a microwave.