Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Tartlets

An interesting twist on a traditional Christmas smoked salmon starter. Serve with hollandaise or a caper dressing on a big leafy salad.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g short-crust pastry. Make your own if you like; but there are some fantastic ready-made and frozen varieties, especially if you’re trying to save time at Christmas
  • 250g smoked salmon – use a pack of trimmings, these are cheaper and actually easier to use in this recipe
  • 200g asparagus tips – blanch these in boiling water for a few minutes and cool them down before using in this recipe
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • 250ml soured cream
  • 125ml milk
  • Small handful of dill
  • Black pepper
  • Half a grated nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Method of Preparation

First, flour the sides and roll out the pastry to about 1.5cm thick. Divide it into eight, and press it into eight tart tins. If you’ve got loose-bottomed tins, this would be much easier.

Prick the bottom with a fork and pop it in the oven at 220C for ten minutes. This will seal the bottom so you won’t get a soggy tartlet.

Beat together the eggs until smooth, add the milk, add the cream, and beat again. Pop in the grated nutmeg, a pinch of black pepper and mix again. Finely chop the dill and add this to the mixture.

Divide the salmon and asparagus between the tarts and arrange however you wish – I like doing smiley faces for the kids. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the asparagus and salmon, cook for 18 minutes and you are done!

Quickness tip: Make these tarts to the stage of the egg mixture, asparagus blanched and salmon cut and ready. They can be left overnight, absolutely fine. Just cover everything well. When the time comes to cook, all you need to do is assemble the tart and cook, hence saving you bag loads of time.

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