The key word for the holidays is undoubtedly conviviality. Days to be enjoyed together, with loved ones, family, our closest friends and those sometimes far away. An opportunity to get together, to share the joys of life in a relaxed atmosphere that exudes happiness. And these asparagus flans also exude happiness, you’ll impress your guests with a delicious starter, beautiful to look at, even tastier to eat.

So we thought of the perfect dish to kick off your Easter menu with great taste and originality.  Tantalizing, fast, cheap and – contrary to how it may seem – very easy to prepare. Winning over the palates of family and friends with asparagus flans with Castelmagno fondue and poached egg will prove to be a piece of cake! Just a few simple ingredients, a little bit of dexterity and a smile on your face will give life to a delightful and, without doubt, delicious Easter starter.

The unmistakable taste of the asparagus, the delicacy of the Ricotta, the strong flavour of Castelmagno, the delectability of the egg that combine in an irresistible liaison that has the appearance of a tart. An asparagus flan that contains all the flavours of tradition yet will surprise the palates of your guests with a pinch of creativity!

Asparagus flans with Castelmagno fondue and egg pochè: the recipe

INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

For the asparagus flans:

  • fifteen or so green asparagus
  • half a shallot
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 250 gr of fresh cow’s milk Ricotta cheese
  • 30 gr grated Grana cheese
  • a pinch of nutmeg and a few leaves of fresh tarragon
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper as desired
  • breadcrumbs and softened butter to grease the cups

For the Castelmagno fondue

  • 150 gr of Castelmagno cheese
  • 300 gr of fresh liquid cream

In addition:

  • 6 eggs + a few drops of lemon juice
  • Wafer thin slices of Grana cheese as desired

METHOD

How do you prepare the asparagus flans?

  1. Peel off the tougher outer layer of the asparagus Toss the asparagus into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Fry the shallot in a non-stick pan with a little oil. Then add the asparagus cut into slices, keeping the tips to one side. Add salt and cook over a low heat for about ten minutes, until the water from the asparagus has completely evaporated. Set aside and leave to cool.
  3. Using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs, then incorporate the Ricotta (well drained), the Grana cheese, salt and pepper until you obtain a light creamy texture.
  4. Blend the asparagus slices and add the cream obtained from the Ricotta mixture.
  5. Grease 6 aluminium cups with butter. Pour the cream of asparagus and Ricotta into the cups, up to a level 1 cm below the rim. Place your future asparagus flans on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for 25 minutes (use a toothpick to check when they are ready).

Tip: put a small pot with water on the bottom of the oven, this will maintain the right level of humidity in the oven and your flans will cook to perfection.

  1. Once cooked, turn off the oven and – before removing them – leave the asparagus flans inside for a few minutes with the door slightly open.

How do you prepare the Castelmagno fondue?

  1. Grate the cheese. Heat the cream in a pan just until it reaches boiling point.
  2. Place the pan with the cream in a bain-marie and add the Castelmagno.
  3. Stir vigorously until the cheese has melted and amalgamated perfectly with the cream. Remove from heat and your Castelmagno fondue is ready!

All that’s left is to poach the eggs. We know that cooking poached eggs can be a bit complicated, so here is an alternative method that is quick, easy and guaranteed to succeed.

How do I make a poached egg in a microwave?

  1. Break one egg at a time into a small bowl; cover with water and add a few drops of lemon juice.
  2. Cook in a microwave at maximum power for 1 minute.
  3. With the help of a slotted spoon, remove from the water.

It’s now time to assemble your dish.

  1. Put a few ladles of Castelmagno fondue on the bottom of the plate, in the centre the freshly baked asparagus flan with the poached egg on top.
  2. Decorate the plate with a few asparagus tips (with any extra ones you can prepare delicious lasagne made with salted crepes, asparagus and salmon, perfect as a first course for your Easter menu!) and crispy wafer thin slices of Grana cheese and… job done!

Credits immagini: Sara Cartelli