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Asparagus tart

Asparagus tart

Martha Collison's tart is fuss-free, with a quick, homemade spelt flaky pastry (a form of rough puff) as the base and a tangy goat’s cheese topping with a burst of citrus. It makes a wonderful lunch, or is ideal for a picnic.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseLunch
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook35 mins
  • Total time55 mins
  • Pluschilling and cooling

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  • 150g plain flour
  • 50g spelt flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the topping

  • 1 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg
  • 150g pack soft goat’s cheese
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • ½ x 20g pack tarragon, leaves chopped
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest
  • 45g No.1 Goat’s Milk Gouda, finely grated
  • 230g pack asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. To make the pastry, mix the flours with the salt, then add the butter and toss it around to coat with the flour. Combine 100ml cold water and the lemon juice, then add to the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring, until a thick rough dough of butter cubes forms. You might need an extra 1 tbsp water. Bring together with your hand, but avoid kneading.

  2. Shape the pastry into a rectangle on a floured surface. Roll it out to a long rectangle, around 1cm thick. Fold ⅓ of the pastry into the middle, then another ⅓ on top of that.

  3. Turn the pastry 90 degrees and repeat the rolling, folding and turning 4-5 times more, until the butter is seen as streaks through the dough. Wrap the pastry in a reusable food bag or baking parchment and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours ahead.

  4. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a bowl, then mix in the goat’s cheese, crème fraîche and a few twists of black pepper until smooth. Stir through the tarragon, ½ the lemon zest and ½ the Gouda. Prepare the asparagus by chopping off and discarding the woody ends, aiming for each piece to be about the same length. Toss with the olive oil to coat.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6 and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Roll the pastry into a rectangle a little larger than an A4 piece of paper (around 22x32cm). Using a sharp knife, trim the edges, then cut a 1-2 cm strip of pastry from each edge. Lift the pastry to the lined baking tray. Add the pastry strips around the edge like a frame, attaching with a little water. Pierce the middle of the pastry all over with a fork, then spread the creamy filling over the centre. Arrange the asparagus in neat lines across the top.

  6. Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and the filling begins to turn golden brown. Sprinkle with the remaining Gouda and lemon zest, then allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Cook’s tip

Save those ends
The woody ends (bottom 5cm) of asparagus are too tough to eat, but don’t waste them. Save in a freezer bag with any other vegetable offcuts and freeze to use as the base of a delicious stock. You can also cook them and add to a creamy vegetable soup. Just be sure to strain through a sieve after blending to get rid of any fibrous strings.

Shop-bought pastry
If you don’t want to make flaky pastry from scratch, swap my homemade version for 320g Jus-Rol All Butter Puff Sheet.

No spelt?
Spelt is a heritage grain with a delicate nutty flavour, which works harmoniously with the sweet asparagus. Swap it for plain wholemeal, or the same amount of plain flour, if you prefer.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,733kJ/ 658kcals



Saturated Fat












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