Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Tarts

This is a quick, uncomplicated way of turning a few asparagus spears into little quiche-style tarts. I wish I could share the smell of them baking and you could hear the flaky crunch as my knife cuts through the pastry. Please make them.

Serves 6
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 20 min

320g puff pastry
100g/8 British asparagus tips
knob of butter
2 eggs
150g cream
100g Greek feta or soft goat’s cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan
a few curls of Parmesan

Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Cook the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Scoop onto a fold of kitchen paper to drain. Cut off the tips, approx 6cm, to fit the top of the tarts, and slice the rest of the stalk into ½ cm (half) thick. Lightly butter a non-stick, 6-hole muffin tin. Cut out 6 x 10cm pastry circles. Fit the circles, snuggling and patting to fit. Pierce all over with a fork. Scatter chopped asparagus in the base, add a crumble of cheese. Whisk the eggs and cream smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the filling, going almost to the lip. Arrange the reserved tips across the tarts; two will get two tips. Dust the tops lightly with grated Parmesan and the tips with Parmesan curls. Bake for 20 minutes until puffed and golden. Devour with or without potatoes, salad etc.