July 9, 2008

Asparagus Tart/ Tarta cu Sparanghel

I am returning with some of the recipes from that January dinner, and the asparagus tart is the first one. My friends liked it a lot, they said it's like a bistro tart or quiche, tasty and very presentable. Not that my cutting it in small squares made it very presentable, but this time you have to trust me, the photo is not as good looking as the tart.
My ingredients were for a 18"x13" baking pan, so if you are making this in a different sized pan, adjust them accordingly. I think they will be enough for two round 10"-11" tarts.

The pie crust I made it using the same recipe as for the apple pie:
2 sticks margarine
7 tablespoons chilled water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
flour as much as needed - (this is how some Romanian recipes for desserts are, dont' you love them, especially when you just started baking and have no clue how much is actually needed or how the dough should look like.....)
Mix all ingredients with your fingertips, with a fork or in the food processor pulsing it. Form a ball, then press it into a rounded disk and refrigerate it for 30 mins. Roll the dough 1/8 inch thick, lay it in the pan, trim if necessary and poke it with a fork all over. Bake for about 20 mins at 375 F, until slightly golden.
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
1 red bell pepper chopped
While the pie crust is baking, boil the asparagus for 2 min in salted water, drain and put in a bowl with icy cold water to stop the cooking.

For the filling you need:
1/2 cup cream
2 eggs
3 tbsp cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh dill and 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped finely

Mix all ingredients together, until blended well. Fill the pie shell with the cream mixture, arrange the asparagus in the cream and sprinkle the red pepper. Bake for about 20 min until the custard is set.
Let it cool completely before cutting it. It could be made up to 8 hours ahead of time.

You could use puff pastry dough or the pie shells from the stores as well, just make sure you are poking the crust with tehf ork so it would have air pockets. And, if you have some small tart shells, maybe you could make them bite sized and really pretty, how I would like to if I find the time to make them one day soon.

Tarta cu sparanghel
Ingredientele mele au fost pt. o tava dreptunghiulara de 25x40, asa ca voi schimbati cantitatile in functie de tava voastra, dar cred ca ajung pentru doua tarte rotunde cu diametrul de 20-25.
Foaia pentru tarta am facut-o ca pentru placinta de mere:
225 g margarina,
7 linguri apa foarte rece,
3 linguri otet,
faina cat cuprinde.
Se framanta un aluat care se da la rece o jumatate de ora, apoi se intinde o foaie de 3-4 mm, care se inteapa peste tot cu furculita si se coace cca 20 minute la foc potrivit.

cca 700 g sparanghel
un ardei rosu tocat marunt
Intre timp, am taiat sparanghelul si l-am fiert timp de 2 minute in apa cu sare, apoi l-am scurs si pus in apa f. rece cateva minute sa se opreasca fierberea.
125 ml smantana lichida,
2 oua,
1/2 lingurita din fiecare: sare, piper, nucsoara rasa,
3 linguri cu varf de parmesan ras,
3 linguri de crema de cascaval sau Philadelphia,
1 lingura de marar tocat si 1 lingura cimbru proaspat
Se ameteca toate ingredientele cu mixerul si se toarna crema de branza in forma de tarta, apoi se aseaza sparanghelul si se presara cu ardei gras tocat marunt. Se coace la foc mediu inca 20-25 de minute. Se lasa sa se raceasca in forma si se taie cand s-a racit complet. Se poate face cu pana la 8 ore inainte.
Si se poate folosi foarte bine si foaia de pateuri, daca o intepati peste tot cu furculitza, incat sa nu creasca prea tare. Sau daca aveti niste forme mici de tarte, puteti face ce niste aperitive mult mai prezentabile, dar calculati-va timpul bine pt. ca sunt mai meticuloase.

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