Asparagus Custard Tart

The Recipe: An asparagus tart that's simple to make but impressive in appearance. Perfect for spring brunches and light suppers.

~recipe updated for a little Mother's Day & Meatless Monday spring inspiration~
~more recently updated recipes~

Asparagus Custard Tart ♥ KitchenParade.com, a simple vegetable tart, perfect for spring brunches and light suppers. So pretty!

Hoot Hoot! We Have New Neighbors!

A great horned owl has taken up a perch on the next block.

He’s big: two feet tall and wings aspan, four feet wide.

And loud: since the mating season commenced in February, neighbors have asked, "Did you hear The Owl last night? He woke me out of a dead sleep!"

Two years ago, a pair of owls took up nest in a tree hollow a block the other direction. Soon there were little owls, owlets they’re called, all fluff and famish.

Good neighbors, these owls, if a tad noisy. Family folk too, it’s nice to have little ones around. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Finally, Spring! And Spring Asparagus!

Spring arrived late this year. But it's here in full force and bloom now, that means baby owlets and the markets bursting with asparagus although sadly, our neglected asparagus garden is spent, so far producing all of five spears. Still, it's time for the annual gorge in asparagus. I'm especially looking forward to an earthy bowl of Easy-to-Elegant Asparagus Soup and a splurge on fresh salmon for Roasted Salmon & Asparagus. For all things asparagus, you'll want to check out all the Asparagus Recipes in A Veggie Venture's Alphabet of Vegetables. Motherlode of asparagus recipes, that!

I remember the year when a reader asked, after several asparagus recipes in a row, if all we eat is asparagus. It is! Well, yes. At least for a few weeks in spring ...

Asparagus Custard Tart ♥ KitchenParade.com, a simple vegetable tart, perfect for spring brunches and light suppers. So pretty!

You'll Love My Asparagus Custard Tart If You ...

... need a quick (even last-minute) breakfast or brunch entrée
... are celebrating a warm spring evening with a glass of crisp white wine
... love a dramatic appearance that requires little effort
... revel in the earthiness of asparagus
... need a tart that carries well and can be served at room temperature

Serve Asparagus Custard Tart With a Salad

Somehow this tart is light and rich at the same time. Still, it’s not hearty like a thick and eggy quiche so serve it with fruit salad or greens dressed with a year-round favorite, Orange & Cumin Vinaigrette.

ORANGE & CUMIN VINAIGRETTE is a simple, bright dressing that pairs beautifully with the creamy, woodsy custard tart. Just whisk the juices of an orange and a lemon with 2 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and a tablespoon of good olive oil. Stir in a clove of minced garlic and some chopped green onion. Just delicious!


ASPARAGUS CUSTARD TART

Visually impressive but oh-so-easy
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 8

    CRUST
  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • Flour

    ASPARAGUS
  • 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed

    CUSTARD
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup good cheese, grated (something flavorful such as Gruyère or Parmesan)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

CRUST Heat oven to 450F/230C. Spray or lightly grease a quiche pan. Bring the crust to room temperature, then open it onto a lightly floured work surface, turning and flipping it to lightly coat both sides with flour. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the crust to make it thinner, working from the center out, keeping the thickness even.

Gently move the pie crust onto the quiche pan. With your fingers, double over the edge to form the sides, then pinch the top edge to form an attractive crust. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to prevent bubbling.

Bake the crust until golden, about 15 minutes, then let it cool.

ASPARAGUS While the crust bakes, steam the asparagus until it's cooked but still bright green. Drain the asparagus on paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Trim the spears to fit, then arrange spoke-fashion with the tips pointing out, it helps to alternate slightly longer spears with slightly shorter ones. You'll have lots of asparagus ends left over: cook's treat!

CUSTARD Reduce the oven temperature to 350F/175C. Whisk the custard ingredients and gently pour over the asparagus.

BAKE Bake the tart for 20 minutes or until the center jiggles slightly but is fully cooked.

TO SERVE Serve the tart warm or at room temperature. Truthfully, it's also good cold!

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS This tart makes ahead and travels beautifully.

VARIATIONS I'm always tempted to add a little lemon zest to the custard. Lemon and asparagus are such good buddies!

ALANNA's TIPS If you’re born to pastry skills, do make your own crust. I love my recipe for Flaky Tender Pie Crust, including Pie Crust Tips and photo instructions. So many people report making their best crusts ever! Why roll out a store-bought pie crust? First, do know that this step isn't required so skip it if you like. But I find commercial pie crusts to be way too thick. So I roll the crusts out to make them thinner. Some times I actually throw out a bunch of the crust, here, though, I use it to create a nice edge to the pie crust. I rarely steam asparagus anymore, I just put it in the microwave! Here's How to Microwave Asparagus. Fresh tarragon is a lovely complement to both the asparagus and custard, try not to skip it.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 299 Calories; 19g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 77mg Cholesterol; 397mg Sodium; 17g Carb; 1g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 7g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 7.5 & PointsPlus 8 & SmartPoints 11 & Freestyle 11


More Recipe Ideas for Asparagus

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Easy-to-Elegant Asparagus Soup Roasted Salmon & Asparagus Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus
~ more asparagus recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Six Years of Favorite Asparagus Recipes ~
~ more asparagus recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables

More Brunch Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Tomato Basil Quiche Easy Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole Asparagus Whole Wheat Bread Pudding

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Hi Alanna -- This looks good but 1/8 of the pie has over 4 WW points and I'm sure gonna want a bigger piece than that! What do you think about subbing fat-free half and half?

5/05/2006
 
Oops - I see it has 5 WW points. Does anyone make a pre-made low-fat crust? How many points would that, and fat-free half and half save, or do I just need to eat a bigger salad with it ;-)

5/05/2006
 
Hi Heidi -

I've only experimented with fat-free half n half (which I love) once and it was such a disaster (see Survivor Soup) that I can't recommend it. But that said, I would try it, though not with perfect asparagus or company coming for brunch!

re: 1/8 a pie, trust me, the tart's good enough you might want to eat the whole thing! But with a salad, 1/8 a piece is very satisfying, creamy and warm and flavorful. I started WW almost four years ago and learned, no matter what, that portion size truly matters.

Good luck! If you try the fat-free version, report back on how it works out for you!

5/06/2006
 
That looks beautiful, Alanna.

5/07/2006
 
OOH that looks so good! and so pretty...this one I have to try.

5/07/2006
 
Beautiful, Alanna. In reference to your earlier comment about the fat free half and half, I have used it before with good results. I haven't done a baked potato type dish, as you referenced, but in place of a bit of cream in soups and in baking (muffins and such), it's always worked out well for me. I agree with you that it's worth a try!

5/10/2006
 
ooh that looks so pretty. I love that you used pilsbury crust. I am terrible at making crust and have used that many times!

5/11/2006
 
I just cooked asparagus for the first time and I love it! This sounds and looks simply wonderful! Perfect for spring!

4/26/2007
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna