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Spring Puff Pastry Tart by Erica

If you’re going by the calendar, spring officially arrived on March 20th. But most years here in northern Minnesota, that’s kind of a laugh. As a general rule, there’s still plenty of snow and chilly weather without much hope of green growing things. Some years we’re lucky and get an early thaw. For the most part though, we have to watch in envy as our southern friends post pictures of their gorgeous spring weather.

 
 

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy spring-inspired cooking! In fact, changing the way I cook by the calendar and not the weather makes this in-between time a bit more bearable.

This Spring Puff Pastry Tart is a wonderful way to usher in the season. It has some lovely, fresh flavors from the asparagus, pesto, and green peas.

Let me show you how it’s made.

 
 

Here is the short list of ingredients: puff pastry (of course), cream cheese spread, Parmesan, prosciutto, asparagus, pesto, and frozen peas. Simple, yet full of flavor!

Notes:

  • If your asparagus is really thick, slice it in half lengthwise before chopping. You want it to be able to cook quickly in the oven.
  • I used arugula pesto because it’s cheaper than making basil pesto. But feel free to use whatever kind you please.
  • Also, I’m pretty sure you could use regular cream cheese instead of the spread—it’s just easier to not have to bring it room temperature before using it.

 
 

Start by rolling the puff pastry out on a piece of parchment paper to about 10×15 inches. It’s okay if you can’t get it to roll out quite that big.

 
 

Next, fold up about 3/4 inch of the puff pastry on each side. I find that it’s easiest if you fold the parchment paper up as well…

 
 

And then peel it back off of the puff pastry. If that makes sense.

 
 

Next, cut off a thin slice all along the edges of the tart. You can save these slices and bake them along with the tart as a little snack.

 
 

Pierce the pastry all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much in the middle.

 
 

Bake in a hot oven until it starts to go a nice golden brown color. If the pastry puffs up too much in the middle, just poke it back down with a fork.

 

Smear the cream cheese spread over the warm puff pastry in dollops.

 
 

Add the pesto in the spaces between the cream cheese.

 

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

 
 

Add the prosciutto, asparagus, and peas.

 
 

Bake for an additional 10–15 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and the asparagus is tender-crisp.

 
 

Allow to cool enough so you don’t burn your mouth when you devour it. Serve warm.

Now, you don’t have to stop here with the flavor combos. You can use this basic method for creating the puff pastry form, and top it in many different ways!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • smoked salmon, poached eggs, seasonal vegetables, and a Hollandaise sauce (kind of like an eggs benedict tart!)
  • spinach, bacon, and artichokes
  • shrimp, roasted garlic, parsley, and lemon
  • wild mushrooms, bacon, arugula, and caramelized onions

 
 

I’m curious: What is spring like where you live? Let us know in the comments!

 

Method for cooking the puff pastry adapted from Coley Cooks and idea for the tart from Zen Can Cook