One of the best life choices I made just as this coronavirus situation was starting to unfold in NYC, back in the era when you could still frequent your corner store on a whim without fear or PPE, was to throw a box of puff pastry into my shopping cart on one of my random midweek trips for odds and ends. (Oh how blissfully naive and carefree I was!!)
Did I also stock up on lysol wipes or hand sanitizer while I was at it?? Uh, no.
But puff pastry. That I had.
In retrospect, it was actually kind of genius because puff pastry is such a blank canvas for anything you want to top it with.
But also because Melissa Clark’s new cookbook just came out with this glorious tart as its cover recipe and I would have actually attempted making puff pastry from scratch just to have it.
Let’s just be thankful, for my sanity and my family’s well-being, that I had a box of it in the freezer ready to go.
If you, too, have a box of puff pastry languishing in your freezer then please please for the love of everything stop what you’re doing and run to make this tart!
It is so incredibly easy and insanely delicious for how little work you’ll put into it.
The prep goes like this: whisk together goat cheese/creme fraiche custard. Trim asparagus edges. Pile everything on top of your puff pastry crust and BAKE.
But then each bite is all crispy buttery puff pastry shards + tangy creamy goat cheese custard + fresh and tender asparagus spears.
To put it bluntly, my child ate an entire adult-sized serving and then asked for seconds, so ringing endorsements all around over here.
- 4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1½ tbsp chopped fresh chives
- ½ tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup creme fraiche, room temperature
- 1 sheet all-butter puff pastry
- 8 oz thin asparagus, trimmed
- olive oil, as needed
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 425F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, egg, garlic, chives, lemon zest, salt, and nutmeg. Once smooth, add in the creme fraiche and again whisk until completely combined.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the puff pastry into a 13x11 inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to lightly score a ½-inch border around the edges.
- Spread the creme fraiche mixture inside the scored lines on top of the puff pastry in an even layer. Top with the asparagus spears and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the parmesan cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with black pepper immediately before serving.