Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Asparagus and Pancetta pastryless Tarts

This recipe was developed to make use of some of the delicious, seasonal products on sale at The Shop in The Shed.  Grown on the farm, asparagus is being picked right now (May) and, paired with bantam eggs and pancetta, makes a lovely addition to our bake - a pastryless tart.

We used -

200g natural yogurt (we used full fat)
125g shallots, sliced
6 bantam eggs
100g pancetta slices
8 spears of asparagus, washed
20g cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 Tablespoon oil
Freshly ground black pepper

These ingredients made 4 larger tarts (made in Yorkshire pudding tins) and 4 smaller, deeper tarts (made in muffin tins).

Preparing the shallots, they were peeled and thinly slicedand then fried in a tablespoon of oil (we used sunflower) over a low heat for about 15 minutes until they started to caramelise.  At this point, they were placed to one side to cool slightly until needed.

Taking the baking tins, they were lightly greased used an old butter wrapper before being lined with slices of the pancetta.

The pancetta we used was smoked and air dried.  Cutting slices to size, the tins were carefully covered (without too much overlap) to form an outer case when cooked.

Next the asparagus was washed and the lower portion (which can
be woody) was snapped off... to do this we held the towards the top and at the bottom then bent each one until the spear snapped.  You can chop the ends off if you prefer.

The spears were then cut so that they were the right length to fit diagonally across the tart, the remaining stems were chopped into small pieces.  The woody ends were not used in this recipe but can be used in soup or to make a 'pesto'.

To prepare the filling, we mixed yogurt with the bantam eggs, freshly ground black pepper and whisked to combine.
Using a dessert spoon, a small amount of the filling mix was added on top of the pancetta lining, before a little of the caramelised onion was also added.

This was then topped with some more of the filling before having the chopped asparagus stalks added, sprinkling a small amount of the grated cheese on top (being careful not to get it on the baking trays) and....

... finally the reserved asparagus spear was added to each tart.

The tarts were then placed in a 170ºC oven for about 20 minutes when they were checked to see if they were browning (at this point ours had risen souffle-like but, luckily, hadn't overflowed).  We left them in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Having taken the tarts out of the oven, we allowed them to cool for about 15 minutes and then carefully removed them from the tins.
We served our tarts warm with green salad and chilli potatoes....

... or they'd be great on a picnic or as a lunch box item... no soggy bottoms to deal with!

Disclosure - we were given the asparagus, pancetta, eggs and cheese by The Shop in the Shed to develop a recipe.  This is the result and all other ingredients were our own.

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