Crab and chive tart

Crab and chive tart

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Serves
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

You can buy picked white crab meat to make this tart, but if you have a freshly cooked whole crab, feel free to stir some of the brown crab meat into the egg and cream mixture (in place of 1 tbsp or so of the double cream) for a stronger crab flavour. You will need a 24cm loose-based flan tin (or ring).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Rich shortcrust pastry, made with chives using herb variation
extra flour, to dust

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
2 eggs
1 extra yolk
250ml double cream
100ml creme fraiche
150g white crab meat
1/2-1 tablespoon chopped chives
salt
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness and use to line the loose-based flan tin or flan ring set on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until firm to the touch, 20–30 minutes. Wrap and chill any leftover pastry. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Blind bake the pastry case for 15–20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry looks dry and feels sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.
  3. Put the eggs, egg yolk, cream and crème fraîche into a small bowl and mix well with a fork until evenly combined. Pass this mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl.
  4. Flake the crab meat and add it to the egg and cream mixture along with the chopped chives. Taste and season with salt and white pepper.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the crab and chives into the pastry case; they should half-fill it. Pour the rest of the egg and cream mixture over the filling, filling the case as full as possible.
  6. Carefully transfer the filled pastry case on its baking sheet to a shelf in the lower third of the oven and bake the tart for 40–50 minutes until the custard is pale yellow and just a little soft in the centre. To check, give the tart a little shake; there should be no violent wobble in the centre.
  7. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then remove the side of the tin, if using, and slide the tart onto a wire rack, or lift off the flan ring after transferring. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Variation

  • For a prawn and dill tart, use fresh or frozen and defrosted cooked shelled prawns in place of the crab, and dill instead of chives.

A note on seasoning with pepper…

  • We use ground white pepper in egg custards as freshly ground black pepper can look unsightly if not ground fine enough, but if you prefer the flavour of black and don’t mind the visual effect, feel free to use that instead.
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