This is a lovely dish that is a delightful and unusual way to make use of the season's asparagus. This is a great dish for brunch or a light lunch.
You can substitute milk for the cream. The result is a much lighter flan with a texture that is more custard-like than the version using cream or half and half.
1 pound (about 2 cups) asparagus tips
4 ounces (about 1 cup or 4 slices) smoked bacon cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter one 10 ½ inch round porcelain gratin dish and set aside.
Bring about 3 cups of water to a simmer. Add the asparagus and blanch until bright green and cooked al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook, stirring frequently, over medium high heat utnil brown and lightly crisp. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cream and eggs. Whisk to blend.
Pour half of the cream mixture into the gratin dish. Scatter bacon over the mixture. Layer the asparagus tips on top of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the remaining cream and egg mixture.
Place the baking dish in the center of the oven. Cook until the mixture is set and the top is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve in wedges.