Always having one or two packages of puff pastry stored in the fridge or freezer can be a real lifesaver when unexpected guests suddenly come to visit, especially when you are in your summer cottage and the nearest grocery store is 30 kilometers away. The dough is useful both for appetizers, baked goods and desserts.
I usually use fresh puff pastry and if it hasn’t come to use before BF date I just put it in the freezer and it’ll keep a while longer.
A couple of our best friends stop by here in Paradise the other day on their way further north to the province of Jämtland to celebrate an upcoming birthday. And of course we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate with them too, a little in advance.
In the fridge there was this package of puff pastry, some goat cheese and a bunch of asparagus, enough to make an asparagus and goat cheese flan as a snack to serve with a glass of Sav, a unique sparkling wine based on birch sap.
The sap (sav) is harvested from birch trees growing on the mineral-rich soil of the Great Lake area in Jämtland, actually the same place where our friends intended to celebrate the birthday. Sav really has a taste of its own, very fresh and crystal clear with a hardly noticeable bitterness in the aftertaste.
Asparagus and goat cheese flan
- 1 roll of fresh puff pastry
- 100 g goat cheese
- 14-16 asparagus stalks
- Olive oil and flakes of sea salt
- coarsely chopped roasted pine or hazel nuts (optional)
- Crema di balsamico (more like a balsamic syrup compared to balsamic vinegar)
- Take out the puff pastry from the fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes before using it.
- Place a baking tray in the cold oven and preheat to 225 degrees C.
- Rinse and trim the ends of the asparagus by snapping them off.
- Cook the asparagus in salted water for just a minute or two and then immediately rinse in cold water.
- Fry the asparagus with some olive oil in a very hot frying pan for another few minutes, just enough for the stalks to get some colour.
- Roll out the parchment with the pastry dough and make a frame by lightly scoring the dough 2 cm in from the edges, be careful not to cut through the dough.
- Cover the area inside the frame with goat cheese crumbles and place the asparagus stalks on top and drizzle with a little olive oil and flakes of salt.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven and place the parchment and puff pastry flan on the hot tray.
- Reduce the heat to 200 degrees C and bake for about 15 minutes until the frame is golden brown.
Before serving divide the flan length wise in two and cut every half in four or five pie slices with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Sprinkle the flan with chopped nuts and drizzle with crema di balsamico.