Asparagus tartlets

Asparagus tartlets

Scandinavian Comfort Food
Columbus Leth

Tarteletter are rarely homemade, as most people buy them, or if they bake them themselves, they buy the puff pastry. My friend Louise was coming over for dinner, and I asked her what she would like me to cook for her. She answered: tarteletter. So I made the puff pastry and the filling and everything. Louise ate them and was blown away because she had never had homemade tarteletter before. I think she used to like her ready-made ones from the supermarket, so in a way I have ruined that: now she knows what homemade tastes like…


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity classic puff pastry
or 500g ready made puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
4-6 crisp romaine salad leaves, to serve

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
300g asparagus spears
1 teaspoon butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
100ml dry white wine
200g shelled peas
100ml double cream
1 bunch chervil, finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the classic puff pastry

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
2 tablespoons plain flour, plus extra to dust
2 pinches sea salt
250g butter, chilled
1 teaspoon lemon juice
125ml water


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the puff pastry to 5mm thick and cut out 8 circles, 9cm in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and brush with the beaten egg. Using a knife tip, score a pattern onto each. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Cut the asparagus into 2-cm chunks. Heat the butter in a sauté pan, add the shallot and sauté for a few minutes, then add the wine and asparagus and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peas and cream, and season. Simmer for 3 minutes, then take off the heat. Cut the puff pastry rounds in half and place the salad inside with the filling.

    Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in 50g of the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the lemon juice and water and mix quickly into a dough. Knead very briefly on a floured surface, just until smooth. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to a rectangle around 50 x 30cm. Slice the remaining cold butter and arrange over half the dough, 2cm from the short edge on one side of the dough, creating a 25-cm square of butter. Fold the 2-cm edge over the butter then fold over the other side of the dough and gently press to encase the butter. Roll out to a rectangle, making sure the butter stays inside the dough. Now, take a short side of the rectangle and fold it over towards the centre by one-third; take the other short side and fold it over the top, as if you were folding a business letter. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll out to a rectangle once more and repeat the folding and chilling. Do this six times in total.
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