Pea, asparagus & ham hock tart
Nothing says spring more than peas and asparagus. Showcase their grassy sweetness by combining with ham hock in a luxurious quiche, encased in golden, flaky pastry
- Serves: 6 persons
- 200g fresh podden peas, or use frozen (defrosted)
- 8asparagus spears, halved
- 200g double cream
- 200g crème fraîche
- flat-leaf parsley or mint (or use a mixture), finely chopped
- 6spring onions, finely chopped
- 1lemon, zested and juiced
- 25g parmesan, finely grated
- 150g cooked ham hock, shredded
- 250g plain flour
- 125g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2tsp mustard powder (optional)
- 30g parmesan, finely grated
- 25g pea shoots
- 50g mangetout, halved lengthways
- ½tsp extra virgin olive oil
Step 1First, make the pastry. Rub the flour, butter, mustard powder (if using), parmesan and 1 tsp fine salt together in a large bowl using your fingertips until the mixture resembles sand. Or, do this by pulsing the ingredients together in a food processor. Gradually add 4-6 tbsp cold water, pressing the mixture together until you have a soft dough. Briefly knead the dough until smooth.
Step 2Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking parchment until 3mm thick and large enough to line a 20 x 7cm loose-bottomed springform cake tin. Remove the top layer of parchment and invert the pastry into the tin, or drape it over the rolling pin and unravel it into the tin. Push the pastry into the base and up the side – there should be about 1½cm excess pastry that comes above the rim. Use your thumbs and index finger to crimp the excess around the edge. Chill for at least 1 hr 30 mins or overnight.
Step 3Meanwhile, cook the peas and asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 3 mins, or just 2 mins for defrosted frozen peas. Immediately plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water to halt the cooking process, and leave to cool in the bowl for 2 mins. Drain and set aside until needed.
Step 4Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Prick the base of the chilled pastry case all over with a fork. Scrunch up a piece of baking parchment, then use it to line the case, leaving some overhanging. Fill the case all the way to the top with baking beans or uncooked dry beans or rice. Bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and parchment and bake for 10-15 mins more until golden. Don’t worry if it shrinks from the edge slightly. Leave to cool while you make the filling.
Step 5Whisk together the eggs, double cream and crème fraîche, then mix in the herbs, spring onions, lemon zest and juice, parmesan and cooked peas. Season with sea salt and a good crack of black pepper, then pour the filling into the baked case. Sprinkle the shredded ham hock over, pressing it into the filling slightly, then arrange the asparagus spears on top.
Step 6Turn the oven down to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake the quiche for 45-55 mins until golden on top with a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool for 20 mins in the tin, then serve warm or leave to cool completely and chill until needed. Will keep chilled for three days.
Step 7When ready to serve, toss the pea shoots and mangetout with the olive oil, then pile in the middle of the quiche. Cut into wedges to serve.