- For the pastry:
- 250g (1/2 lb) of plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 175g (6oz) of butter
- For the filling:
- 1kg (2lb) of asparagus
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 450ml (3/4 pint) of bechamel sauce, made with milk or cream
- 60g (2oz) of grated cheese
- Knead the flour, salt and butter together, adding a little water to make a paste. Prepare this 1 hour before cooking, if possible.
- Prepare the asparagus very carefully, peeling off the dry outer skin of the stalks. Put them tied in a bunch and heads uppermost into boiling salted water, to which you also add a teaspoon of sugar and cook them for 10 minutes (a little longer if they are very large ones). Drain them and cut each asparagus into 3 or 4 pieces, discarding the hard part at the ends.
- Roll out your pastry, line a flat buttered pie-tin (23-25cm/9-10in) with it, cover the inside and the edges with kitchen paper and put the usual beans into the paper to keep the pastry flat. Bake it in a hot oven (200C/gas 6) for 20 minutes.
- Heat up the bechamel gently while the pastry is baking. Now add the grated cheese to the prepared bechamel and, off the fire, the asparagus.
- Take the paper and the beans off the pastry, fill with the asparagus mixture, put it into the oven to brown, and serve hot.