Wild garlic signifies the slow emergence of spring, its arrival bringing optimism to the kitchen after the colder months. It generally grows wild, even in urban areas, so can be often be picked up for free. The pungent leaves are mellowed by the rich creamy filling, made even more luxurious by the addition of Artichoke and Truffle Pesto, all of which revitalise a classic dish.
Dust your worktop and rolling pin with a little flour then begin to roll the pastry out into a circle, pushing backwards and forwards over the dough then turning and repeating until it is large enough to fill the tin. Use small amounts of flour to stop the pastry sticking. Pick the pastry up by folding it over the rolling pin then lay into the tin. Use your fingers to push it into the base, corners and flutes, then trim the excess from the edge with a knife but keep to patch up any cracks that may appear. Place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Heat an oven to fan 170C, with a baking tray inside big enough to sit the tin on if possible (this helps cook the base faster and more evenly). Take the tin from the fridge, prick the base with a fork then cover with a piece of foil or baking paper big enough to cover the bottom and sides. Cover with a 1-2cm baking beans/rice/pulses then place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and carefully take out the foil/paper with the baking beans. Brush the base with egg white then return to the oven for a further 8 minutes.
Begin to make the filling whilst the pastry is baking. Place a large pan or pot on a medium to high heat. When hot, add the olive oil followed by the wild garlic and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and use tongs to move around in the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or longer if necessary, till both the spinach and the wild garlic leaves have wilted. Remove from the pan and place in a colander to allow excess water to drain.
Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream and pesto and whisk thoroughly till light and foamy. Give the spinach and wild garlic mix a squeeze then place on a board and roughly chop. Add this to the cream and egg mix, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Pour the mix into the pastry case, place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The filling should have started to puff and be firm to the touch, but still slightly wobbly at the centre. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.