Asparagus and crab tart
( SERVES 4 )
I love the tender fragility of freshly made shortcrust pastry, but you can use prepared shortcrust pastry sheets if you wish.
|250 g||Unsalted butter, cut into cubes|
|150 ml||Water, Ice-cold|
- Preheat the oven to 180C. In a food processor mix the flour and salt. Add the cubed butter and blend until it resembles fine sand. Add the cold water, then blend until it forms a ball, rolling around the inside of the bowl. (Using ice-cold water will result in a more tender and flakier pastry.)
- Remove the pastry, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. Grease individual 10cm fluted flan moulds. Lightly dust the bench with flour. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of no more than 3-5mm, then line the moulds with pastry, pressing it into the corners and leaving a 1cm overhang to allow for shrinkage as it cooks. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place a piece of greaseproof paper in the pastry shells, then weight it down with rice or beans. Bake for 12 minutes or until the pastry is firm, then remove the beans and paper and return the shells to the oven for 5 minutes until dry. Cool the shells in the moulds, then use a serrated knife to trim the edges.
To prepare the filling:
- Break off the last 2cm of the asparagus spears and peel from the base to the tip. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, then cook the asparagus for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh in ice-water.
- Dry with absorbent kitchen paper, then cut the asparagus into 2cm diagonal chunks. Mix the crabmeat with the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into the pastry shells, dividing the asparagus between them, then bake for 20 minutes at 180 degC until the filling is set.
- Allow to cool slightly before removing from the moulds. Serve warm with a salad of lightly dressed rocket leaves.