Asparagus Gouda TartPhoto Credit : Styled and Photographed by Liz Neily
Any kind of store-bought puff pastry will work with this asparagus gouda tart, but our favorite brands are Dufour and Trader Joe’s, because they are made with butter. Pepperidge Farm is made without butter, but it’s a fine substitute.
1 sheet store-bought puff pastry (if frozen, thaw in refrigerator beforehand)
1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus spears, dry ends trimmed
2 large eggs
¹⁄3 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1 ¼ cups grated Gouda cheese
Zest of half a lemon, for garnish
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400°. Set a rack to the middle position. Meanwhile, fill a 3- or 4-quart pot with water and set it over high heat. Set a large bowl of ice water next to the stove.
Lay the puff pastry between two layers of parchment paper and roll out to a 10-by-13-inch rectangle. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Using a ruler and a sharp knife, lightly score a 1-inch border around the tart, making sure not to cut all the way through. This will puff up and form the edge of the tart. To keep the middle from puffing, poke it all over with a fork. Set the pastry (on the parchment) on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water until it’s just starting to bend, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the pot and immediately drop into ice water, then drain and dry.
Bake the pastry until it’s just beginning to turn golden and the sides start to puff up, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper. Stir in cheese. Spread the filling over the middle of the tart, leaving the border uncovered. Trim your asparagus stalks into different lengths and arrange them in an artful pattern over the filling.
Return the tart to the oven and bake until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with a generous sprinkle of lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve warm or at room temperature.