British Asparagus, Smoked Trout and Dill Tartlets

Last month I joined in with Meeta’s Monthly Mingle for the first time, a blogging event over at a beautiful blog called What’s For Lunch, Honey. The theme was ‘Think Pink’ and I submitted my Pink Pasta dish. Sarah from Maison Cupcake hosted and gave a wonderful round up of all the very inspirational ‘pink’ entries. This month, its Jeanne’s turn to host over at Cook Sister and with the theme being ‘Topless Tarts’ who could resist joining in again?!

The stipulation this month is that you can submit any tart recipe, as long as its, ahem, topless. What with summer coming along, Jeanne thought it would be a good idea to, I quote, “get ’em out and show ’em off” and I quite agree that with the lovely weather we’ve been having, this is a very good idea.
My ‘topless tarts’ feature fish and dill…but more importantly I have been getting rather over-excited about the start of British asparagus season and wanted to create something really seasonal. I used hot smoked fillets of trout, although sea trout is in season too so you could buy a couple of small fillets and grill them for ten minutes too before flaking. If you don’t fancy trout, try salmon flakes. The asparagus was snapped and blanched for just a couple of minutes in hot water and was locally sourced. Dill, in my book, is obligatory with pink fish, so there is a bit thrown in for good measure. Though if you don’t like it or don’t have any to hand, snip some chives in or a bit of parsley.
The flavours worked really well together and these beautiful mini-tartlets would make a great addition to a summer picnic, garden party (there might be one or two going ahead on Friday!) or just a lovely ‘al fresco’ lunch. 
I am quite sure that I will be put to great shame by all the other bloggers who enter this month’s mingle, who will have been busy making their own pastry. However, as the weather has been so darn nice, and because, well frankly life is too short, I did not made my own pastry from scratch. I did, however, roll it and blind-bake it, so there was some effort there. The rest is easy peasy and I promise that the result is a lovely crumbly, buttery tart filled with all the joys of spring.
I hope you try them, don’t forget to let me know if you do. Happy Mingling if you’re joining in! Still feeling bad about not making my own pastry…
British Asparagus, Smoked Trout and Dill Tartlets
Makes 6 Mini Tarts/One large tart


350g shortcrust pastry
250g fresh, British asparagus
125g hot smoked trout fillets (sea trout or salmon fillets)
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh dill
50ml full fat milk
50ml single cream
1 egg and 2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. 
2. Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured board until around half a centimetre thick and line your mini tart cases (or one large tart tin.) Press the pastry to the edge of the tin and trim the edges with a knife. Prick a few holes in the bottom.
3. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake in the oven for fifteen minutes.
4. Prepare the filling. Snap the asparagus (save the woodier ends for soup) and drop into some hot water for two minutes. Drain and rise well with cold water to keep the colour. Chop finely.
5. Check your fish for any bones and flake into pieces.
6. Mix the milk, cream, eggs and parmesan cheese in a jug.
7. Take the pastry cases out of the oven, take out the beans and leave to cool.
8. Once cool, fill the tarts with your asparagus and trout and sprinkle with dill. Pour over the eggy cream mixture until the cases are almost full.
9. Turn the oven up to around 200 degrees celcius and bake for 20 minutes, or until the centre is firm. ( A large tart will take longer)


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  1. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks James…cooking with two kids in tow is hard enough without the extra pressure of pastry!

  2. James Brewer says:

    >These sound superb!! So many different ways to enjoy asapragus – I love it.

    Psst… don't worry about not making your own pastry – I don't either!

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