Hello everyone and welcome to another week.
I had a very good week, didn’t do too much baking this week i.e. cakes etc as I have been looking through all my recipes books and thinking, I really should try and cook something from some of the more neglected ones. One of the neglected ones happened to be the new Nigel Slater book (or old now!) Kitchen Diaries II. I bought this book last year and it has simply been sitting on my shelf, I think I have been a bit daunted by it as it is simply now in a style that I am used to. So one of the blogs that I follow – Farmersgirl (check out her blog!) happened to be do a competition for dish of month and coincidently it was using Kitchen Diaries II. So I picked it up and had a flick through and suddenly wondered why I had actually been so daunted by this book in the first place, as it is simply stunning. Seriously there are so many things that I wanted to cook that I had to narrow it down, and the options were Goats Cheese and Onion Tart or what I made for this blog. Eventually, as I had some asparagus in the bottom of the fridge which needed to be used up, I decided to go for this. Please note that whilst this is based on the recipe from the book, it is not 100% the same, if you are interested in seeing the original recipe then take a look on page 230 and 231 of Kitchen Diaries II.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my husband and myself did, it was simply delicious.
Now for the recipe.
- 1 x ready rolled or square of puff pastry – either use Jus or just the standard supermarket special (each is the same).
- 200g Crème Fraiche (English or French!) (Next time I make it, I would use about 150g).
- 17 Asparagus Spears (or just a bunch)
- 60g Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 x 77g punnet of Pancetta Pieces (I bought mine in waitrose) (you can also use strips or bacon, just make sure you chop it up)
- 7 x large mushrooms sliced (about 150g) – I used normal white mushrooms (you can use chesnut)
- 1tsp of whole milk for brushing.
1. First thing to do is boil or steam the asparagus spears (depends on your preference) for between 6 – 9 mins – if you put a knife into the stem then it should cgo through easily. (I boiled mine). Whilst that is on, preheat your oven to 200 Degrees or 180 Fan. Set aside once tender.
2. Whilst that is happening, slice your mushrooms and then in a dry frying pan cook the pancetta pieces (no need for oil as the pancetta will release its own oils) once, they are nice and crispy add the mushrooms and continue to cook for a bit until tender. Set aside once complete.
3. Next put the crème fraiche and grated parmesan into a pot and gently warm through until the cheese is melted. Once warmed through set aside.
5. Line a baking sheet/tray with greaseproof paper and spray with some cooking spray or simply dust with some flour. If you have a square of puff pastry then you will need to roll it out into a rectangular shape and transfer to the baking sheet on the tray (if it is already rolled, simply transfer to the baking sheet). using a sharp knife make an indentation about 1.5cm around the whole edge of the tart (make sure you don’t cut through the pastry) .
6. Spoon about half of the crème fraiche onto the rolled out puff sheet and try to keep the mixture within your lines that you made in the pastry.
7. Next put the asparagus spears on top of the pastry however you like and then scatter the pancetta and mushrooms all around. Then add the remainder of the crème fraiche to the tart by spooning it over the ingredients so it looks something like this –
8. Put it into the oven and bake for between 20 – 30 minutes. It will be ready when the sides start to brown and the crème fresh starts to go golden brown in patches. As you will see from my tart below some of the crème fraiche escaped the edges, but it still came out really well.
9. Slice and serve immediately and enjoy.
I am entering this recipe into the dish of the month competition as it was inspired from my copy of the Kitchen Diaries II.
Until next time.