Crab Tarts


Crab tarts.

Sounds bizarre I know, but I have been wanting to make these for many years. I trawled through all my collated recipes, ripped pages from various magazines over the years and, rather organised of me, filed in ‘Waitrose Food Illustrated’ folders. (Yes, that is how old they are!). My criteria for selection being, ‘that looks tasty…I’ll make that one day’…

That day has come.

I have drooled over these crab tarts, from an Easy Living magazine, many times. Every time with the intention of making them but not having ready-rolled pastry in the house, or the thought of making pastry, put me off. No longer.


Inspired by our Cornish break and delightfully fresh (caught that day) Crab Sandwiches. I embarked on these without hesitation with my new found pastry making confidence. However, don’t put off making, you can always use ready-rolled short crust pastry. In this glorious weather, you want something quick and delicious to make.

These are wonderfully, light, lemony and of course, full of succulent crab. A lovely, light lunch to serve for friends.

Crab Tarts

Makes 4 Tarts


    For the Pastry
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting surfaces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g unsalted, chilled
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 50ml cold water
  • Egg wash, 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of milk
  • Or,
  • 375g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
  • For the Filling
  • 150g fresh Cornish crab meat, or 1 x 170g tin of jumbo crab meat
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground pepper and salt (optional)


    For the Pastry
  1. Put all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a free standing mixer and mix together. Add the butter, cut into small cubes into the mix and combine until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  2. Add the egg yolks and mix further until combined and then add the water until the dough comes together.
  3. Place a piece of food wrap onto the work surface. Tip the dough onto the food wrap. Shape into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap.
  4. Chill overnight or at least three hours before rolling.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, gas mark 4.
  6. Unwrap the chilled dough and place another layer of food wrap over the top of the dough ball. Roll the dough between the two sheets of wrap until the required thickness, approximately 3-5mm. Ensure that the dough is large enough to fill 4 x 8.5cm tins, plus edges and a little overhang. Do the same with the ready rolled pastry if using.
  7. Place the tins, upside down on the pastry and cut around ensure that there is sufficient for each tin. One at a time lift a portion of pastry and carefully line the tin, ensuring that it fills all the fluted edges. Repeat for the remaining three tins.
  8. With a fork, prick the surface of the pastry before added crinkled (the more crinkled the better!) baking parchment and baking beans.
  9. Blind bake for approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the baking beans and parchment. Brush with egg wash and return to the oven for a further 6-8 minutes, until the base of the pastry looks dry. Trim the edges of the pastry at this point, whilst it is still warm.
  10. For the Filling
  11. When the pastry has cooled. Divide the crab meat equally between the pastry bases and distribute evenly throughout. Sprinkle with the chopped spring onions.
  12. In a large jug, mix together the egg yolks, cream, mustard, lemon zest and freshly ground pepper and salt.
  13. Pour over the crab in the pastry bases, them almost to the top. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.
  14. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  15. Serve with a salad.

Source: Pastry from Paul Hollywood’s ‘How to Bake’. Crab filling adapted from ‘Easy Living’ Magazine

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