Crab, saffron and spring onion tart
- March 2010
- Serves 8-10
- Hands on time 30 minutes, 1 hour cooking time plus chilling
Debbie Major’s crab tart recipe is flavoured with saffron and spring onion for a delicate springtime treat.
- 44g (23.1g saturated)
- 32.5g carbs (3.2g sugars)
- Generous pinch saffron threads
- 175ml whole milk, plus 1 tbsp, warmed
- 75g butter
- 25g plain flour
- Bunch of spring onions, very thinly sliced
- 350g fresh white crabmeat (see our how-to video below)
- 40g finely grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp finely chopped curly-leaf parsley
- 3 large free-range eggs, separated
- 150ml double cream
For the pastry case
- 80g chilled butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 275g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp salt
- 80g chilled lard or white vegetable fat, cubed
- 1 large free-range egg white, lightly beaten
- Make the pastry case. Grease a 27cm, loose-bottomed fluted tart tin that’s 3-4cm deep with butter. Sift the flour and the salt into a bowl. Add the butter and lard and work into the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 3 tbsp cold water and bring together into a ball. Turn out and knead briefly. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use to line the tart tin, trimming the edges. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans and cook for 15-20 minutes until the edges are biscuit-coloured. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Brush the base of the tart case with the egg white. Return to the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Remove and set to aside; lower the oven temperature to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5.
- Put the saffron into a small bowl and cover with 1 tbsp warmed milk. Set aside. Melt 50g of the butter in a non-stick pan, add the flour and cook gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in 175ml milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, until smooth. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in another pan, add the spring onion and fry for 1 minute until just soft. Stir into the sauce with the saffron milk, crabmeat, Parmesan, parsley and some salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Mix the egg yolks with the cream and stir into the cooled crab mixture.
- In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. Fold into the crab mixture with a large metal spoon. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 30-35 minutes until set, puffed up and golden brown.
Serve this straight from the oven, while it is still slightly puffed up.
You can make the pastry case up to a day in advance and reheat in the oven for 5 minutes before you fill and cook it.
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