• Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Bake time: 30 minutes
  • Makes 6 servings.


  • Ingredients for the asparagus and puff pastry:
  • 18 to 24 (depending on size) green asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallions or shallots
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 puff pastry rectangles, about 2½x5 inches (6x13 cm), ¼ inch thick (6 mm)
  • egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)


  • Ingredients for the lemon-butter sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons dry white vermouth
  • Salt & ground white pepper
  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons = 115 grams), chilled cut into 12 fingertip-size pieces


  • Small sauce pan
  • Paper kitchen towels
  • Brush
  • Large frying pan
  • Baking/cookie sheet


  • Instructions for the asparagus:
  • Trim the woody ends of the asparagus
  • With green asparagus, it should not be necessary to peel the skin of the asparagus
  • Boil the asparagus 5 - 8 minutes (depending on quality) until cooked - the asparagus should still have a bit of a bite, and not be limp and cooked to death!
  • Immediately remove the asparagus from the hot water and arrange in one layer on paper towels
  • Cut the asparagus to appr. 5 inches (13 cm) in length
  • Note: the asparagus may be cooked in advance; when cold, wrap and refrigerate them.

  • Instructions for the lemon-butter sauce:
  • Takes less than 5 minutes to make
  • In a small saucepan, slowly boil the lemon juice, vermouth, and ¼ tablespoon of salt
  • Boil down to about 1 tablespoon of sauce
  • With a whisk, beat in the chilled pieces of butter, one or two pieces at a time
  • Adding another piece or two, just as the previous pieces have melted, so that the sauce remains ivory colored, rather than looking like melted butter!
  • Season to taste with salt and white pepper

  • Instructions for the puff pastry pockets:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 230 °C (450 °F)
  • About 15 minutes before serving, arrange the dough rectangles (still frozen, if you wish) on a baking sheet
  • Brush the tops (not the sides) with a thin coating of egg glaze
  • After about a minute, paint with a second coat
  • With a sharp knife, make very shallow decorative knife cuts or cross-hatchings in the surface of the dough - do not cut through the dough!!!
  • Immediately bake in middle of oven for 12 - 15 minutes, until the pastries have puffed up and browned, and the sides have crisped
  • Note: may be baked somewhat ahead of time and left in turned-off oven, with the oven-door ajar (but this way, the puff pastry will be less flakey and buttery...)

  • Instructions for the assembly:
  • While the puff pastry is baking, melt 2 - 3 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan (big enough to hold all the asparagus tips in one layer)
  • Add the shallots or scallions and sauté for a couple of minutes, while stirring occasionally
  • Add the asparagus tips and roll them over, to coat them with butter
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper, then roll over again
  • Split the hot pastry rectangles in half horizontally
  • Arrange 3 or 4 hot & buttery asparagus on each bottom half, their tips sticking out only on one side of the pastry
  • Spoon a bit of the lemon-butter sauce over the asparagus
  • Cover loosely with with the top pastries
  • Serve at once!

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©1978 J. Child