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Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes



  • 250g plain flour, sifted plus a little extra 
  • 125g unsalted butter, cold plus a little extra for the tin
  • 3 free-range egg yolks - keep one of the whites
  • 50-100ml milk ( you may not need it all )
  • Salt and pepper


  • 100g King Crab meat (flaked by hand)
  • 500g Asparagus (approximately 8 spears)
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 200ml double cream
  • 40g Beaufort cheese, grated
  • Heaped tablespoon of finely chopped chervil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

The recipe for the pastry has been adapted from one used at the River Cafe where the pastry case is not baked blind with baking beans. The crucial element is to make sure pastry is thoroughly chilled in the freezer (but not frozen) so don’t rush this step. The addition of eggs helps the pastry to be more elastic, rather than crumbly. It is also important to note that oven temperatures do vary so cooking times may need to be adjusted accordingly.



First prepare the pastry as it will need to rest. Sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor and add the butter. Pulse until the butter and flour resemble a sandy texture. Add the egg yolks and briefly pulse once or twice to mix. Tip the mixture into a cold bowl and add a splash of milk at a time while gently bringing the dough together, you may not need it all. Don’t over handle the dough, it doesn’t matter if it looks a bit crumbly. Form into a ball and flatten slightly.

Wrap in clingfilm and place in the freezer to rest for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile prepare the asparagus. Remove the woody ends (see How to cook and Prepare Asparagus) and trim the spears so that they are the right length to fit around the tart case like the spokes of a wheel.

Slice the trimmed leftover stems into thin rounds. Place a large saucepan of water over a high heat and when the water is boiling vigorously, add a teaspoon of salt. Immediately add the asparagus spears and rounds and blanch for 2 minutes.

Strain and tip into a bowl of iced water. When cold, drain again and blot dry with kitchen paper.


Lightly grease a 25cm fluted, loose bottom tart tin and line the bottom with non stick baking paper. When the pastry has rested, add a little flour to a work surface and roll the pastry out so that it is a bit larger than the tin. The pastry should roughly be the thickness of a £1 coin.

Line the tin with the pastry, carefully pressing into the edges. Leave the pastry hanging over the edges of the tin, but trim off any large overhanging pieces, reserving for patching any holes if necessary.

Place the tin back in the freezer and rest for 20 minutes or until very firm.


Heat oven to 170C/150c fan. Place a flat baking sheet or tin that is big enough to fit the pastry case in, on the middle shelf of the oven to heat up. When the pastry case has rested, place it on the baking sheet or tin on the middle shelf of the oven for a total of 25 minutes (no baking beans necessary).

After 15 minutes of cooking, take the case out and brush with egg white, gently pressing any puffed up pastry down with the brush. Brushing on the egg white will help stop the pastry going soggy. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the pastry case is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.


While the pastry case is cooling, add the cream and 3 eggs to a jug. Add a pinch of salt and a good finding of black pepper and whisk together. 

Sprinkle the crab meat over the bottom of the tart and then the grated cheese. Arrange the asparagus stem rounds on top.

Carefully pour over the savoury custard and sprinkle over the chervil. Finally arrange the asparagus on top like the spokes of a wheel and gently push into the custard so they are half submerged.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the quiche around in the oven after 15 minutes. The middle should be just set and will firm up as it cool. Let it sit in the tin for 10 minutes before serving.