Crab, saffron and spring onion tart

Crab, saffron and spring onion tart
  • Serves icon Serves 8-10
  • Time icon 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.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
594kcals
Fat
44g (23.1g saturated)
Protein
19g
Carbohydrates
32.5g carbs (3.2g sugars)
Salt
1.3g
Calories
594kcals
Fat
44g (23.1g saturated)
Protein
19g
Carbohydrates
32.5g carbs (3.2g sugars)
Salt
1.3g

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Mix the egg yolks with the cream and stir into the cooled crab mixture.
  6. 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.

delicious. tips

  1. Serve this straight from the oven, while it is still slightly puffed up.

  2. 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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