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LOCATION: Recipes >> Vegetables >> Asparagus Flan 02

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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

Preheat oven to 350F. and butter six 3/4-cup souffle dishes or
custard cups. Line bottoms of dishes or cups with rounds of wax
paper and butter paper. Line a baking pan large enough to hold
dishes or cups with a double layer of kitchen towels.

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.

Serves 6


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