Asparagus & Crab Tarts
A gluten-free diet doesn’t have to mean no pastry, although if you are not gluten free this can be made using normal shortcrust pastry. These delicious tarts require a little effort to make but they are a luxurious lunch or starter with a simple salad.
Asparagus contains many important vitamins, minerals, and fibre to help support our digestive system, but is only in season for a few weeks during May and June so I love to savour it during this time. Shellfish, like crab, contains protein and is also a source of zinc.
For the pastry:
- 250g almond flour or finely ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 125g coconut oil, hard not melted
- 1 egg
- 5-6 tbsp cold water
For the filling:
- 220g bunch asparagus
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- A grind of nutmeg
- 160ml coconut cream
- 100g of picked crab meat, brown and white
- A hand full of basil leaves, finely chopped
Combine the almond flour with the salt, make a well in the centre. Add the egg and coconut oil into the well and rub into the flour with your fingertips until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. Mix in the water a few tbsp at a time until a dough forms. Wrap this the dough in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Grease 6 x individual tart tins (10cm), with coconut oil. Pre heat oven to 200/180 fan.
Roll out the pastry to about 2mm thick, this easier to do between two large sheets of cling film. Cut 6 x 12cm circles, using a pastry cutter, or small plate and push into your tins. Use scraps to patch cracks or tears. It’s malleable so push it into shape if necessary and make sure the corners are not to thick, pinch up the sides and trim of any excess. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 10 -12 minutes until golden brown and dried out. Allow to cool while you make the filling.
Lower the oven to 180/160 fan.
Blanch the asparagus spears for 1 minute and refresh in ice cold water, lay out on a tea towel to dry. Cut the tips off and save for the tops, slice the rest of the spears.
Mix the eggs, seasoning and coconut cream together then stir in the crabmeat, basil and sliced asparagus bottoms. Divide evenly between the tart cases and place a few asparagus tips on top of each tart.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the middle of the tart is just set. Leave to stand for 2-3 minutes before removing from tins. Delicious served warm or cold.
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