This tart looks as good as it tastes. The distinctive caraway crust and rich, custard-like filling dotted with tender slices of asparagus make it a dish you'll be proud to serve time after time. —Susan Kuklinski, Delafield, Wisconsin
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold butter
- 2 tablespoons cold shortening
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- 1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced fully cooked ham, julienned
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a bowl, combine flour, caraway and salt; cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time; stir with a fork until dough forms a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll dough to fit a 10-in. tart pan. Place dough in pan. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Cut the asparagus into 2-1/2-in. pieces. Set tips aside; cut remaining pieces in half. Cook all of the asparagus in a small amount of water until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes; drain.
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and egg yolk; gradually add cream (mixture will be slightly lumpy). Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and pepper. Place ham and asparagus pieces (not tips) over crust; pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the top. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.
- Pour remaining cream cheese mixture over top. Arrange asparagus tips over tart; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Sunny Asparagus Tart in Taste of Home April/May 1997, p27
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