Organic asparagus and hollandaise tart

  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Emily Watkins, a big fan of organic produce, has teamed up with Great British Chefs and the Organic Trade Board to show off beautiful spring produce in this tart recipe, using a classic pairing of asparagus and hollandaise to usher in the season. You don't have to use edible flowers to finish the dish, but they do add an extra flourish to the dish.

First published in 2015




Vinegar reduction for the hollandaise

Shortcrust pastry

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 160g of butter, cold and diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

To make the hollandaise

For the tart


  • 25cm loose bottom tart tin


First make the vinegar reduction. Add the vinegar, shallot, peppercorns and bay leaf to a pan and reduce over a medium heat until you are left with about 50ml liquid. Strain through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour and butter into a bowl and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (or you could do this is by pulsing in a food processor)
  • 250g of plain flour
  • 160g of butter, cold and diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
Whisk together the egg, milk and salt and add to the flour and butter. Bring the mixture together to form a dough, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes
Lightly flour the work surface then roll out the pastry to fit the tart tin. The pastry should be 3-5mm thick. Leave the edges of the pastry bigger than the tin as it will shrink during cooking
Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and line with parchment paper or cling film. Fill with baking beads and blind bake in a pre-heated oven at 180˚C for 20 minutes
Remove the parchment and beans, then return to the oven for 10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown
Brush the pastry with egg wash and carefully trim the edges of the pastry with a sharp knife. Turn the oven down to 170°C/gas mark 3
To make the hollandaise, add the egg yolks, whole eggs and vinegar reduction to a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (a double boiler). Whisk until doubled in volume, then remove from the heat
Slowly add the cream, little by little until all incorporated, whisking continuously. Set aside until needed
  • 500ml of double cream
Peel the asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water for 2 minutes until tender. Refresh in iced water
Pour the reserved hollandaise into the pastry case and position the blanched asparagus evenly across the tart. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is set
Leave the tart to cool completely before removing from the tin. Scatter with the chopped chives and edible flowers before serving
First published in 2015

Mother of three and previously chef-owner at The Kingham Plough, Oxfordshire, Emily Watkins has a lot on her proverbial plate. But it hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of Britain’s leading chefs.

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