Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Crab and Leek Tart

A rich indulgent tart flavoured with sweet white crab meat, herbs, and saffron, served as a starter or a lunch or supper dish and a magnificent dish to serve over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
This was a success at the Great Tree Hotel, Chagford and later on at the Bowd Inn, Sidmouth with the summer visitors to Sidmouth and Devon in general, we always made it with seasonal brown crab that was caught locally, our supplier in Sidmouth was Stan Bagwell, and I believe he is still supplying fresh fish and seafood to everyone.

Serves / Makes: 4 to 6 depends on who is a gannet

Prep-Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Cook-Time: 50 minutes


For The Pastry
200 grams, plain flour
¼ teaspoon, sea salt
¼ teaspoon, cayenne pepper
50 grams unsalted, butter
50 grams, lard (this helps to make the pastry very elastic, essential for a good savoury pie)
25 grams, mature cheddar cheese, grated
1, egg yolk

For The Filling
25 grams, unsalted butter
225 grams, leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon, saffron strands
300 grams, white crab meat
3 medium, eggs
2 teaspoons, lemon juice
1 or 2 dashes, of Worcestershire sauce
125mls, double cream
Small handful snipped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry, sift the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper into a mixing bowl, rub in the butter and lard until the mixture is crumbly, mix in the cheese, then bind the pastry with the egg yolk and little cold water.
Leave the pastry to rest for 30 minutes roll out and line a non-stick baking tin
Preheat the oven to 190°C / gas mark 5, line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking peas or some dried pulses if you don’t have the ceramic peas.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, remove the paper and peas, and return to the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Now prepare the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the leeks for 5 minutes until they are softened but not browned.
Stir in the saffron, allow to cool then turn into a mixing bowl, fold in the remaining filling ingredients and season well, spoon into the cooked pastry case and bake in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

We serve this hot or cold, crusty bread and a mixed salad dressed with a Sherry Vinegar Dressing

Sherry Vinegar Dressing
Just A Superb Dressing, Need I Say Anything More

Serves/Makes: 2 servings
Prep-Time: 10 minutes
Cook-Time: nothing

You Will Need;

1 tablespoon, sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon, walnut oil
1 tablespoon, garlic flavoured olive oil
The juice from half a lemon, about 2 tablespoons
½ teaspoon, sugar
A pinch of sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until they thicken slightly drizzle over your salad and serve

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