Simple Crab & Asparagus Tart

Wonderfully simple and very quick to prepare, this is a recipe in a similar vein to my salmon and asparagus tart, created with the aim of using the asparagus from my allotment in different ways.

Still, whichever way I go for with the asparagus, steamed asparagus with a little salt, some melted butter and a poached egg make for a fine dish in itself!

Having a stash of home-made pastry in the freezer at all times makes quick dishes such as this very easy and quick to throw together, and when making pastry it is always worth making larger quantities than is needed for just this reason. However, the all-butter puff pastry that you can buy is a wonderful thing.

I had some white crab meat left over from my crab canapés and basically did an upscaled and tweaked version of these, mixing the crab meat with a little mayonnaise, some cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and a generous spritz of lemon juice (it really needs the lemon).  This crab mixture alone is, quite simply, to die for: spread over hot buttered toast, life feels as if it cannot get any better!

You need to try to keep a lot of the crab meat in firm chunks so stir it delicately with its flavours. You can mix the crab meat with a little Béchamel sauce instead of mayonnaise, but in any event you need just enough sauce or mayonnaise to bring the crab meat together: too much of this and the crab flavour is diluted you end up with just a fishy paste!

The asparagus should be steamed until just tender and then tossed in butter and a little salt.

The assembly is simple: about 300g puff pastry is thinly rolled out a roughly 1cm border made with a sharp knife going just a little way into the pastry – but not all the way through: the idea is that as it cooks, the border will rise up just a little to form a ridge, keeping the filling in.

Spread the crab meat mixture over the pastry, keeping within the border, before laying over the cooled, buttered asparagus. Bake the tart at 200C(fan) for about 15-20 minutes and serve hot with another spritz of lemon juice and a rocket salad.


Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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