Asparagus and bacon tart

This recipe featured in the June edition of Hampshire Life magazine with wine matches from Berry Bros & Rudd.

There’s something a bit celebratory about a pie or a tart. People get the impression that you’ve gone to a lot of trouble, but it’s so easy these days if you’ve got a packet of ready-rolled puff pastry up your sleeve.

This month’s recipe showcases the king of early summer vegetables: Asparagus. I’ve teamed it with flavour-enhancing bacon and given it a lift with lemon zest. Enjoy the tart warm from the oven for an al fresco lunch at home, or cool it to room temperature and raise your picnic to the next level.

Asparagus and bacon tart

Serves 6

320 g ready-rolled puff pastry

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

75 g bacon lardons

1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 lemon, zest finely grated

1 large egg

100 g crème fraiche

275 g asparagus spears

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180 fan), gas 6 and take the pastry out of the fridge.
  2. Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and fry the lardons and onion for 8 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat, then add the garlic and lemon zest and fry for 2 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper, then take the pan off the heat.
  3. Unroll the pastry and lay it on a baking tray, leaving the baking paper underneath. Score a 2 cm border round the edge of the pastry with a sharp knife, but don’t cut all the way through.
  4. Lightly beat the egg in a jug, then brush the outer border of the pastry with egg. Add the crème fraiche to the remaining egg in the jug and beat until smooth.
  5. Spoon the cooled onions and lardons onto the pastry and spread them out. Spoon over the crème fraiche mixture in an even layer, leaving the border clear.
  6. Roll the asparagus in the onion pan to coat it with any residual oil, then season with salt and pepper. Arrange on top of the tart.
  7. Bake the tart for 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and browned underneath. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Local producers

Asparagus – Durleighmarsh Farm Shop

Petersfield, 01730 821626

Bacon – Tatchbury Manor Farm

New Forest, 07786 697919

Eggs – Kings Somborne Free Range Eggs

King’s Somborne, 01794 388297

Find them at Hampshire Farmers’ Markets

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