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Egg Free Asparagus & Paneer/ Ricotta Tart With Rough Puff Pastry
I have come to the conclusion that asparagus is highly over-rated. Sure, it looks interesting and makes a great subject for photography and is probably extremely healthy to the boot. All I know is that out here, asparagus is very expensive and just not worth
For the Rough Puff Pastry :
For the Egg Free Asparagus Tart :
  • 1 puff pastryrecipe rough from above
  • 2 asparagussmall bundles of skinny stalks
  • 1 big or 2 potatosmall (peeled, parboiled and thinly sliced)
  • 175gm paneer ricottacubes /
  • 2tbsps milkabout
  • 1/4tsp nutmeggrated
  • to taste salt black pepperand freshly ground
  • 1tsp chilliesred flakes (optional)
  • 1/2tsp garlicpaste (optional)
  • 3/4tsp lemon rindgrated / zest
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  1. Rough Puff Pastry is about making pastry the easier way so I took the easy way with a food processor. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter in small chunks, add them to the sifted flour, and pulse to mix (or lightly rub into the flour) but NOT to breadcrumb-like texture. The bits of butter should be visible.
  2. Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough. If in the processor, just add the water and pulse till the dough comes together into a firm ball. Add extra water if needed. Shape the dough into a ball (minimal handling), cover with cling film and allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Place the dough a lightly floured board and knead gently. Form it into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width. This should measure approximately 8u201d by 20u201d. Keep edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks and your dough should have a marbled effect.
  4. Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that, like a three-fold letter. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out to three times the length, as before. Fold the dough in a 3 fold as above, cover with cling film and chill for about 30 minutes before rolling to use. You can leave it in the fridge longer, otherwise freeze it required. I know it stays in the freezer for 2 weeks.
  5. For the Asparagus Tart, Trim the asparagus stalks and blanch them in salted water. Pat them dry with a towel and keep aside. Blend the paneer/ ricotta and milk and really smooth. Season the blended paneer/ ricotta with nutmeg, salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, garlic paste, lemon rind and juice. You can also add finely sliced bits of the asparagus stalks.
  6. Roll out the rough puff pastry into a 1/4″ thick rectangle about 11u201d by 6u201d or similar sized round pie dish. Thatu2019s the size that fits the baking tray I used, and I needed to use a little over 3/4ths of the rough puff pastry I had. Place this on a parchment lined baking tray.
  7. Line the pastry with parchment and fill the tart tin/ pie dish with dried beans. Blind bake the pastry at 190C (375F) for about 15 minutes till it’s dry and feels firm to touch. Remove the beans and the parchment.
  8. Place the potato slices as a single layer on the base of the tart. Now spread the blended and seasoned paneer/ ricotta over this in a uniform layer. Arrange the asparagus stalks decoratively . Brush the edges of the tart with milk.
  9. Bake the tart at 190C for about 25 minutes until the pastry turns golden. Make sure the asparagus is still succulent and hasnu2019t dried out.