Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- 2 pounds asparagus
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 3/4 ounce)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
Trim asparagus and cut off tips. Halve asparagus tips lengthwise and cut stalks crosswise into 1-inch pieces.
In a steamer rack set over boiling water steam asparagus tips, covered, until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Transfer asparagus tips with a slotted spoon to a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain tips well and pat dry.
Steam asparagus stalks, covered, until tender but still bright green, about 8 minutes. Transfer stalks with slotted spoon to paper towels and pat dry well.
In a blender puree stalks, cream, tarragon, 3 tablespoons butter, Parmesan, and salt until smooth. In a bowl whisk eggs until combined and add asparagus puree in a stream, whisking until smooth.
Divide mixture among dishes or cups and put on towels in pan. Add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up sides of dishes or cups and bake flans in lower third of oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove dishes or cups from pan and cool on a rack 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan heat asparagus tips in remaining tablespoon butter until heated through. Run knife around edges of dishes or cups and invert flans onto 6 plates. Top flans with asparagus tips.
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe Source: Best of Gourmet 1997 (Conde Nast)
Reprinted with permission.