Simple, bold, clear flavours, Parmesan and asparagus have always made excellent bedfellows, though this is not the classic dish where the Parmesan is shaved over the spears. In late April, May and much of June, when you can find English asparagus, this is your tart.
Cut the woody bases from the asparagus stems and plunge the spears into boiling water for 5 minutes or until al dente, it could be a little less, depending on the thickness of the stems. Cool, then chop half the spears, 6, into pieces, keeping the other 6 whole.
Grate the Parmesan and add it to the bowl with the cream and eggs and seasoning. Whisk together.
Place the chopped asparagus on the baked blind pastry as evenly as you can do quickly, then add the line of 6 in a row on top and pour over the custard.
You may add the last spoonful of Parmesan 10 minutes before the end of cooking time by just sliding the tart near enough to the oven door to sprinkle the top with the cheese.
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