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Asparagus and Blue Cheese Tart with Prosciutto

Pastry:
100g butter
200g plain white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
iced water

Place the flour and butter in a food processor with the salt and process in short bursts till it is like breadcrumbs. Add some iced water, a teaspoon or two at the time, processing between additions, until the dough starts to form into a ball.

Remove from the processor and knead into a ball. Roll out and use to line a 23cm pie dish. Trim the edges.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Press some aluminium foil onto the pie base – weighting it down with dried beans. Cook at 200C for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and foil.

Filling:
1 bunch asparagus
1 leek, white part only, cut into round slices
1 tablespoon butter
75g prosciutto (6-8 slices)
75g creamy blue cheese (I used Danish Blue Castello)
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
pinch cayenne
a little freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground pepper

Saute the leek slices in the butter till tender. Set aside to cool down a little.

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard. Cut each stalk to half the diameter of the pie shell. Chop the rest of the stalks into uniform pieces.

Combine the eggs, sour cream and seasoning, whisking lightly.

Place the sauteed leeks on the base of the partly cooked pie shell. Arrange the asparagus like wheel spokes in the pie shell, with the tips in the centre. Distribute the chopped asparagus ends evenly round the dish between the asparagus stalks. Crumble the cheese over the short stalks and drape the prosciutto over the top, leaving the whole stalks visible. Pour the egg mix into the pie.

Return to the oven and continue cooking at 200C for 10-15 minutes until golden. Allow to stand for five minutes before cutting. Serve hot or at room temperature with a crisp salad.

The tart filling shouldn’t require extra salt as the prosciutto and cheese contribute enough.

More asparagus:

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