Meal Type: Main course
Cook time: 35 Minutes
This season for English asparagus is short so be sure to make the most of it! This simple yet delicious tart is, for me, the essence of Spring. Best of all, with an Aga range cooker, there is no need to blind bake the pastry case.
I include a recipe for shortcrust pastry here but feel free to use ready-made pastry if time is short. It will still be delicious!
You may need...
You may need...
- 9 inch loose-bottomed deep tart tin
- Baking tray that fits Aga range cooker oven runners
First, make the pastry. Sieve the flour. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the egg and add to the mixture – using a metal knife, start to bring the mixture together, adding the water gradually until the dough starts to hold together. Bring together into a disc with your hands – wrap and transfer to fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Snap the ends off the asparagus and discard the woody part at the end. Steam the asparagus on the boiling plate for approximately 4 minutes – the spears should be just cooked with some bite as they will cook further in the quiche. Refresh under cold water and then chop into 4cm lengths, reserving six straight spears for the top of the quiche.
Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a £1 coin and line a 9 inch tart tin – leave pastry hanging over the sides, if liked, to trim after cooking. Scatter the chopped asparagus into the pastry case.
Whisk together the eggs, cream and most of the cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle on top. Season well with salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus and arrange the whole spears on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Slide the quiche carefully onto the floor of the roasting oven and bake for 35 minutes until the top is puffed and golden with the slightest hint of wobble. Remove from oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before trimming the edge of the pastry with a serrated knife. Serve warm.
Tips for Aga range cookers:
- Making pastry in a warm Aga range cooker kitchen can be a challenge, especially in the summer months! I have warm hands too so I prefer to make my pastry using a food processor. It is vital not to over-process though – whizz the butter and flour briefly until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency and then add the milk and a little cold water. Pulse very briefly – as soon as it starts to come together, stop and push the pastry together by hand.
- Cooking the quiche on the floor of the roasting oven eliminates the need for blind baking as the heat from the floor cooks the pastry from the bottom in the same time as the filling takes to set. All Aga range cookers are different – if you find the floor of your roasting oven burns the pastry before the filling is cooked, use a ceramic or pyrex dish instead. This will slow down the cooking of the base.
- The timing for steaming the asparagus is approximate as it will depend on the width of your asparagus spears. Be careful not to overcook – a bit of contrast with the soft, eggy filling is desirable.
- If you make quiches/tarts or pizzas regularly, then a pizza peel is highly recommended. A great piece of kit which you can slide under the tart tin to remove easily from the oven floor.
- This is quite a rich tart – if you prefer something less decadent, you can use single cream or substitute some of the cream for milk.
This fun family recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds.