1 pound of fresh asparagus spears, cleaned and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup of butter or margarine
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
3 eggs, separated
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup( 2 ounces) of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar
Cook asparagus, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 6 minutes or until crisp tender; drain well. Arrange asparagus evenly in a 1 1/2 quart casserole; set aside.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Beat egg yolks; combine with milk, stirring well. Gradually add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, salt, and pepper; stir until cheese melts. Pour cheese sauce over asparagus.
Combine egg whites (at room temperature) and cram of tartar; beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over cheese sauce, sealing to edge of casserole. Bake at 400ºF. for 8 to 10 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings