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We took Molly asparagus picking recently and she was quite the pro. Although she preferred running over the sandy berms; leaving the back-breaking slave-labour to us. We acquired quite the haul. So it’s been a few weeks of funny smelling pee, which has coincided nicely with the potty training.

I treated myself to a tart tin today, and also to buying a crab from the fishmongers, so the two combined along with the asparagus and some manchego cheese, seemed like the perfect make-ahead seasonal lunch for when Jamie’s auntie Jill was coming to town.

Crab and Asparagus Tart – makes 8 slices

1 small crab, fresh, cooked, white and brown meat

200ml double cream

3 eggs

2 shallots

Bunch of chives, chopped

8 asparagus spears, blanched for just over a minute and then run under cold water

Pinch of mustard powder

Manchego cheese, grated to cover the tart

Shortcrust pastry – either homemade or bought (refrigerated for half an hour at least)

To Serve:

Homemade baguette


Pre-heat the oven to 170c, and get the shortcrust out of the fridge twenty minutes ahead of time. Roll out pastry to less than 5mm, and lay in a greased tart tin. Trim edges and fork over the base. Lay down baking paper over pastry and pour in baking beans. Blind bake for ten minutes. Then remove paper and beans and bake for a further ten minutes.

In the meantime, slowly cook the shallots in a generous knob of butter. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a measuring jug, beat in the eggs. Then mix in the crabmeat. Season well and add the mustard powder.

Sprinkle the shallots evenly over the baked pastry, then pour over the crab / egg / cream mixture. Lay the asparagus spears down as spokes, sprinkle with chives and then manchego. Season once more and then bake in the oven for about twenty minutes (until just set and no longer wobbly).

Eat either hot, warm or cold. Yum.

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