Crab, Lemon and Crème Fraîche Tart

, from Issue #33. January, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Crab, Lemon and Crème Fraîche Tart

Serves: 6-8


300 grams bought shortcrust pastry 

2 eggs
1 clove garlic, crushed
200 grams crème fraîche
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
grating of fresh nutmeg
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
300 grams crab meat
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
long chives for garnish

24 cm loose-based tart tin


Roll pastry out on a lightly floured bench and line the tart tin. Refrigerate until firm. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Bake the tart case blind for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C. Remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 5-7 minutes until golden. Cool.

Filling: Put the eggs, garlic and crème fraîche in a bowl and gently whisk to combine. You don’t want the mixture too aerated. Fold in ½ of the Parmesan cheese, the lemon zest, nutmeg, spring onions, chives and the crab meat and season well. Pour into the cooled tart case and scatter over the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes until the filling is set. Cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin. Place on a serving platter and top with the chives. 

To bake blind: line a prepared pastry case with baking paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. The beans support the pastry as it cooks. Bake in a preheated 190˚C - 200˚C oven for up to 20 minutes before removing the paper and weights. The shell should now have taken form. Return to the oven for the time specified in the recipe. 

Packets of raw, frozen crab meat are available from good fish shops. Thaw in the fridge and place the crab meat on paper towels to remove excess moisture before adding to the filling. Check the meat for any small pieces of shell.