Asparagus and Ticklemore tarts


    250g plain flour

    110g unsalted butter (diced)

    2 egg yolks

    4 tbsp water

    pinch of salt

    3 eggs

    ¼ pint milk

    ¼ pint double cream

    1 large bunch of Wye Valley asparagus tips or purple

    250g crumbled cheese

    100g rocket

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Main serves 1

Now asparagus is available, these tarts make a lovely seasonal addition to a spring menu. The use of purple asparagus adds an extra colour dimension to the whole dish. Ticklemore is a wonderful semi-hard, vegetarian goat’s cheese from Sharpham in Totnes, with a lovely natural white colour. It is such a versatile cheese for slicing or crumbling, equally good for cooking or use in salads.

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Firstly make your pastry.  Put the flour on a large wooden board or work surface, make a well in the centre with your finger and place the remaining pastry ingredients inside, being careful not to allow the water to escape. Combine all the ingredients gently with your hands and then begin to massage together, working the butter into the flour with the base of your hand.


Once all the ingredients are combined, mould the pastry into a ball and place in the fridge to rest for half an hour. Alternatively, the pastry can be combined in a food processor on pulse, being careful not to over mix.


Once rested, roll out the pastry then cut and mould into 10cm tart cases. Cover with squares of baking parchment and baking beans and bake on 160C/325F/gas mark 3 for approximately 20 minutes until the pastry is cooked through.


Remove the baking beans and return the pastry cases to the oven for 2-3 minutes to completely dry them out.


Now make the filling. Set the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2, whisk together the eggs, milk and cream and lightly season with salt and white pepper.


Blanch the asparagus, and depending on thickness, half or quarter them lengthways. Place a scattering of the rocket in each tart case, followed by some crumbled Ticklemore and asparagus crisscrossed on top. Keep some cheese aside to use as a topping later.


Gently pour in the egg mix and place the tarts in the oven. Bake the tarts for approximately 20 minutes or until they are lightly brown and set. Remove and allow to cool before turning out of their cases.


To serve, crumble a little more Ticklemore goats cheese and scatter some extra rocket on top. www.relishevent.co.uk

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