Quite Scandinavian in flavour but you can change this – if you’re not keen on dill or caraway – by using chopped parsley. It’s also easy to make a completely different tart using this recipe as a blue print: increase the amount of asparagus and replace the salmon with chunks of soft goat’s cheese, for example.
Filo is much easier to deal with than you might imagine. It doesn’t matter if it tears – one of its assets is that it always looks good once it’s baked and golden, no matter how messy it was when you put it in the oven.
Prep time: 20 minutes ¦ Cooking time: 55 minutes
- 50g butter
- 1 small onion, very finely chopped
- ¼ tsp caraway seeds
- 150g asparagus
- 200ml double cream
- 100ml crème fraîche
- 1 large egg, plus 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- 150g filo pastry sheets, each about 30cm x 38cm
- 225g hot-smoked salmon, broken into large flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 170C fan*/gas mark 4.
- Heat 15g of the butter in a frying pan and gently sauté the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the caraway seeds and cook for another 2 minutes. Season and leave to cool completely.
- Break the woody end off each asparagus stalk and cook the spears – either steaming them or cooking in the microwave – until only just tender (they will cook more in the tart).
- Mix together the cream, créme fraîche, whole egg and yolks with some salt and ground black pepper and the chopped dill.
- Melt the rest of the butter and use some of it to brush the base and sides of a 24cm cake tin (either a spring-form tin or one with a removable base). Set the tin on a metal baking sheet.
- Lay one sheet of filo pastry in the tin, letting it hang over the sides, then brush it with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top at a 45-degree angle and brush with butter. Keep layering and buttering the filo until you have used all the sheets and the pastry is hanging over the sides.
- Spread the onion mixture on to the base, then put the asparagus and salmon on top. Pour over the cream and egg mixture. Bring the pastry up over the top of the pie, but don’t completely cover it. Scrunch the edges of the filo all the way round, making a kind of frill (if you want to see more of the top of the tart, just tear off some of the excess filo). Brush with the remaining butter.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is a lovely golden colour and just set in the middle (press it gently with your index finger; the tart will continue to cook in the residual heat after you remove it from the oven).
- Leave to cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully release the tart from the tin, slide it on to a large plate and serve.
*Diana’s conversion may differ slightly from the standard