Cook’s Tip: Try not to handle the pastry too much – it should be kept as cool as possible to give a light, crisp finish.
2 cups flour
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
Chilled water, for mixing
1 (14.75 oz) can or 2 (7.5 oz) cans red or pink Alaska salmon
8 oz thin asparagus spears, trimmed and halved
3.5 oz goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cup crème fraiche
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the vegetable fat with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the poppy seeds, if using. Stir in just enough chilled water to make a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead lightly until smooth, then wrap in parchment paper and chill for 10-20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (conventional oven) or 350 degrees (convection). Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to line the bottom and sides of a small (7”x11”) oblong tart tin. Top pastry with a piece of foil, add a layer of dried beans to bake ‘blind’ (without a filling) for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, remove the foil and beans. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 (conventional) or 325 (convection).
- Drain the salmon; remove the skin and bones, if desired. Break into large chunks and arrange on the pastry. Lightly cook the asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes; rinse with cold water and drain. Arrange asparagus on the pastry along with the goat cheese and cherry tomatoes.
- Beat together the eggs, crème fraiche and herbs. Season with pepper. Pour mixture over vegetables. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set. Serve warm or cold.