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Emily Watkins’s Asparagus and Hollandaise Tart

This week’s recipe comes courtesy of Emily Watkins, and a beautiful asparagus and hollandaise tart. Now the recipe itself serves 6, and was made in a large, fluted pastry tin. I decided, however, to avoid any going to waste I would do the recipe as 2 servings in 2 small pastry cases. So really these are tartlets!

First up was a vinegar reduction for the hollandaise, white wine vinegar went into a saucepan with a diced shallot, peppercorns and a torn bay leaf until reduced.

Vinegar Reduction

THE PASTRY

With this set aside, I could move on to the pastry – the aspect of the dish about which I was most apprehensive!

I mixed butter and flour until they resembled fine breadcrumbs. In another bowl I whisked together milk, 1 egg and a pinch of salt, before adding to the flour and butter and bringing it all together. I then rolled the pastry into a ball, wrapped it in clingfilm and left in the fridge to chill for about 1 hour.

Pastry ready to chill

Once chilled, the pastry was ready to roll out. I then lined it in the pastry cases and pricked the bases ready to blind bake. With the baking beans in and the oven pre-heated 180 degrees, I blind baked the cases for 10 minutes. The beans were then removed and the cases baked for another 5 minutes until the pastry was golden brown. A layer of egg wash applied, they went in for 1 more minute.

Pastry cases done

THE HOLLANDAISE

Next up was the hollandaise. I love hollandaise; and I find it so satisfying to make (when I don’t mess it up!)

2 egg yolks, 1 egg and the vinegar reduction went into a bowl over slightly simmering water, whisking to bring them together:

Ready to start on the hollandaise…

Once this had doubled in volume, the double cream was ready to go in. First taking off the heat, I added the cream a little bit at a time while whisking continuously. This culminated in a thick, rich and creamy hollandaise.

The leftover hollandaise went towards my breakfast. Yummy!

I spooned into the now cooled pastry cases, and then added my prepped asparagus.

Ready to bake!

They were left to cool after 10-15 minutes in the oven.

THE FINISHED DISH

Asparagus and Hollandaise Tartlets, done!

I enjoyed them on a bed of rocket picked fresh from the garden and a few cherry tomatoes for a light lunch.

They were, by the way, as delicious as they look. I was very pleased with myself after this, overcoming my pastry-phobia and making something not just edible, but delicious!

Thanks for this one Chef!

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