Elsie Larson

Asparagus Bacon and Goat Cheese Tart

Today our friend Camille Styles is here to share a delicious recipe from her new book, Camille Styles Entertaining. It's a beautiful book with amazing photography. We've been enjoying it around our office this past week!

Although I love to cook, I can definitely be a bit lazy... and making homemade pie crust from scratch just doesn’t sound like the way I’d like to spend a beautiful spring day. My love of quiche and eggy tarts inspired me to develop this version using store-bought puff pastry, which practically bakes itself and tastes every bit as good as its homemade pastry counterpart.

Try to use all-butter puff pastry if possible; there’s a world of difference in the flavor compared with the versions made with hydrogenated oils. I filled mine with crispy bacon, seasonal asparagus, and a creamy egg mixture that’s totally decadent yet somehow feels light and seasonal at the same time.

Asparagus, Bacon and Goat Cheese Tart, serves 6.

1 sheet all-butter puff pastry from a 14-ounce package (I like the Dufour brand)
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions (white and green parts), sliced on the diagonal
3 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 4-ounce package crumbled goat cheese
20 thin asparagus spears, trimmed
Maldon sea salt for finishing (optional)

Unfold a pastry sheet on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 11" x 13" rectangle, flattening slightly. With a small paring knife, score a ¼" border along the inside of the rectangle. Prick all over with a fork and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper and then add enough pie weights or dried beans to fill the crust. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Use a fork to pierce any bubbles that may have formed and then let the pastry cool slightly on the baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, thyme, salt and pepper, and half the scallions. Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the egg mixture inside the border of the pastry. Top with the bacon, goat cheese, and asparagus.

Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden and the topping is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then sprinkle with the remaining scallions and Maldon sea salt, if using. Cut into squares and serve.

Blind baking (or prebaking) is a crucial step in this recipe, as it keeps the center of the dough from puffing up too much or becoming soggy. I like to keep a bag of dried beans in my pantry that I use over and over just for blind baking pie crusts; after I’m done with them, I put them back in their labeled plastic bag and reserve them for the next time I need them!

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us, Camille! Congratulations on your new book. xx. Elsie Emma

Credits // Author: Camille Styles. Photos by: Buff Strickland.

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