These delicious tarts make the most of new season asparagus and are incredibly easy to make.
250 grams good quality ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg whisked with 2 teaspoons milk or cream
150 grams chevre or soft goat cheese
16 spears asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthways and through the centre
4 eggs, preferably free range organic
80 grams prosciutto
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and line an oven tray with baking paper. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal pieces and place on the oven tray.
Gently mark a 1cm border around the edge of each piece of pastry to cut just half way through. Brush the edges with a little of the egg wash and use the tines of a fork to gently prick the inside base of each pastry square (Make at least 8–9 prick marks).
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and poke down all of middle pastry bits that have over-puffed. Crumble half of the cheese evenly on each piece of pastry.
Top with asparagus, leaving a little gap in the middle then crack an egg into the gaps and reduce oven temperature to 190˚C.
Bake a further 10–15 minutes until the egg is cooked through. While the tarts are cooking dry fry the prosciutto in a hot frying pan for a minute each side until crispy. Season the tarts with salt and freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with lemon zest and serve immediately garnished with remaining crumbled cheese, chopped chives and shards of prosciutto.
Cook's note: If you have thick asparagus halve them lengthways, but if they are thin, fine stalks leave them whole.