Pretty perfection in every slice! Fresh and filled with flavour, our asparagus thyme tart is the perfect lunchtime dish to enjoy this spring/summer season.
360g all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
225g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
112ml ice water (more if needed)
118ml whole milk
6 large eggs
1 bunch wholeasparagus spears, ends trimmed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 tbsp green chives (plus 5 whole sprigs to garnish)
65g finely shredded cheddar cheese
30g finely grated parmesan
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the dough, add flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer with pastry beater attached. Mix just for a few seconds to distribute the salt. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Add it to the flour and turn on stand mixer to speed 7. When mixture resembles coarse meal, gradually add 10 tablespoons of water while continuing to mix. Mixture should easily hold together when pressed. If not, you can add 1 extra tablespoon of water at a time until it holds better.
Tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface or a large sheet of plastic wrap and gather into a rough 12cm x 18cm rectangle. Press to flatten. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 5 days.
Spray a steel or aluminum quarter sheet pan with cooking spray, line with parchment and spray that too. Set aside.
Roll out the chilled dough into a 25cm x 35cm rectangle on top of a lightly floured piece of parchment. Use a long knife to slide under the dough if it sticks to the parchment too much. Using the parchment to lift, slide the dough and slide into the prepared pan.
Spread the dough with your fingertips to fill up the sides of the pan and above the lip by at least 6mm. If any cracking occurs, just use your fingertips to press back together. This dough is forgiving. You can trim dough off sections where it's too generous and push it into spots that need more.
Flute and push edges out so they rest on the lip of the pan. This ensures the crust is deep enough for filling and won’t slide down when baked. The finished crust should look crumbly and rustic. Prick all over with the tines of a fork and set in freezer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 218°C and make sure there is a rack at the bottom of your oven. Line frozen crust snugly with foil and add pie weights to the lip of the pan (beans or rice work well). Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust edge is light golden brown. Remove pie weights and foil and cook 5 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
To prepare filling, boil water in a large stock pot. Peel the bottom half of asparagus and add to the pot. Simmer for 3 minutes and remove with tongs. Transfer to an ice bath.
When asparagus has cooled, remove from the water and lay on paper towels to dry completely. This keeps as much excess moisture as possible out of the egg custard.
Add cream and milk into the bowl of your stand mixer with whip attached. Add eggs one at a time while whisking on speed 1. Add sliced chives, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix just to blend.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over the bottom of the crust. Take half the asparagus spears and lay lengthwise onto the crust and cheese. Pour filling into crust. Take the other half of the asparagus and create another layer widthwise on top of the filling. Add whole chives to the surface.
Drop the oven temperature to 204°C and bake quiche on the bottom rack for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, just until a small knife plunged into the center of the egg custard comes out clean. If the edge of the crust begins to brown too quickly, you can cover it with strips of foil.
Cool for at least 15 minutes, slice and serve warm.