Let the asparagus shine in this savoury flan balanced with sharp Parmesan cheese and the sweet crunch of almonds. A quick and easy midweek dinner, ready on the table fewer than 40 minutes—this light pastry-less tart can be enjoyed alone with a green salad, or as a side to a steamed fish (salmon or trout) or grilled meat for a more substantial meal. The almond milk emphasises the almond flavour but you may choose to use any other kind of milk you like.
- Prepare the asparagus by snapping the hard bottom part where it naturally breaks. Discard these hard parts, they are not palatable. Trim the pretty tip section of each spear to about 10 centimetres in length and chop the remaining bottom parts into small pieces.
- Blanch the long asparagus tips and the smaller pieces by immersing them in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and transfer immediately to a bowl filled with cold water and some ice cubes. This will allow them to retain their stunning vibrant green colour. Drain and reserve the long tips for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a baking dish (approx. 30 x 20 centimetres or 20 centimetres diameter).
- Place Parmesan in mixing bowl and grate 10 seconds/speed 10, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Without washing the bowl, place the eggs, almond milk (or milk of choice) and cream in mixing bowl and mix 15 seconds/speed 6. Add cornflour, 40 grams of the reserved grated Parmesan, lemon zest (if using), salt and pepper and combine 15 seconds/speed 6.
- Lastly, add the blanched small asparagus pieces only (reserve the long tips) and mix 10 seconds/Reverse/speed 2.
- Pour the batter mixture into the prepared baking tray.
- Bake 30–35 minutes (180C). After 15 minutes of baking, and once the flan has started to thicken, top with the asparagus tips and sprinkle with the remaining 10 grams grated Parmesan and the almond flakes. Return to the oven until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out fairly dry.
- Enjoy immediately with a garden salad while the flan is hot and puffed up and crunchy on the top.