Prep time: 30 mins
Baking time: 30 mins Ingredients 250g plain flour pinch salt 175g butter 1 kg asparagus 1 tsp sugar 450ml béchamel sauce 60g Cheddar cheese, grated Method: 1. To make pastry, sift flour and salt into a large bowl, then rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a little water and bring together with hands then knead on a cold, floured surface until dough forms. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 200°C. Remove pasrty from cling film and roll out into a thin layer. Place pastry in a greased 23-25cm tin, cover with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, to prepare asparagus, peel off dry outer skin and tie together in bunches with string. Place bunch with spears pointing upwards into boiling salted water. Add sugar and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and cut each asparagus into 3 or 4 pieces, discarding tough ends. In a pan, heat béchamel sauce gently, add cheese and asparagus, mix well and remove from heat. Remove paper and beans from pastry, fill with asparagus mixture and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.
Tip: If you don’t have baking beans use dried pulses instead
RECIPE FROM ELIZABETH DAVID ON VEGETABLES