Warm Crab Tartlets

A Matter of Perspective~

Some things never change.  I love crabmeat; I have always loved crabmeat.

When I was a little girl, I thought The Red Lobster was the fanciest restaurant on the planet. I mean, only a truly elegant restaurant would offer grown-ups special bibs so their clothes wouldn’t get dirty!

Every chance I got, I would plead with my parents to go there. Birthdays were a given. I would gaze in wonder at the lobsters swimming in thier tank, waiting to become someone’s dinner. I wasn’t interested in eating something that was so ALIVE only moments before it arrived on my plate; I wanted my dinner dead long before I got it!

I always ordered the same thing, snow crab legs and an extra basket of garlic cheese biscuits.  Then would tremble with excitement at the thought of my heaping plate of claws and the extra tools with which to eat them.

Well a lot has changed since then. One, I have discovered that the Red Lobster is NOT the fanciest restaurant on the planet, and that plastic bibs and shell pliers do not equal high-class.  I have also realized it is much better to eat food that is veryrecently dead. (…take a moment to JUDGE me if you so desire.) *smile*Yet, I’m still gaga over crabmeat, and believe it to be one of the most sweet, tender, succulent proteins around!

Crab “fancies up” just about everything it graces. Even lowly party dip with crackers is taken to new heights by the addition of crab.These little tarts are a wonderful small meal, first-course, or party dish with understated elegance. Buttery pastry filled with glorious lump crabmeat, tarragon and spice–no shelling necessary!

Consider this for your New Year’s Eve party!


Yield: 10 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Warm Crab Tartlets


1 ¾ cup flour
½ salt salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
4-6 Tbs. ice cold water
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
8 oz. cooked, drained crabmeat
1 ½ Tb. fresh chopped Tarragon
1 small shallot, grated
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper


For the crust: Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times.

Add the cold butter and pulse until the bits of butter are the size of peas. Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between, until the dough comes together. It will be a bit lumpy.

Shape the dough into a rectangle, then wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the dough on a floured work surface and roll out to a 8 X 20 inch rectangle.

Trim the rough edges. Then cut down the center lengthwise. Cut each strip into 5 pieces creating 10- 4 inch squares of dough.Fold each square and place them into muffin tins. Press the centers down to the bottom and press the folds into the sides. Prick the bottoms of the shells several times with a fork.

Bake the shells for 15 minutes. Then cool a little.

In the meantime, combine the cream and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until smooth. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Scoop the crab mixture into each shell evenly.

Related Posts

65 Responses to “Warm Crab Tartlets”

  1. #
    She's Cookin' — December 27, 2010 @ 5:43 am

    I want one or two or three! Crab is my all time favorite, too and I used to eat at Red Lobster as often as I could when I was in college (my hometown did not have one) – I loved the crab stuffed shrimp. You made your dough, too. So delicious!


  2. #
    Katerina — December 27, 2010 @ 6:30 am

    First time I tried crab meat was in the US and i loved it ever since. These little treats are great idea for a party.


  3. #
    Cherine — December 27, 2010 @ 7:47 am

    I love crab meat too. Those tartlets look really tempting!


  4. #
    denise@ quickies on the dinner table — December 27, 2010 @ 8:19 am

    Hey Sommer – hope you had a beautiful Christmas! These tarts look lovely! I've never done anything dainty and poncy with crab before – just chillied or curried crab or boiled and eaten caveman(woman?) like with some buttery, lemony dip LOL

    Maybe I will do this for New Year's after all!!


  5. #
    Lea Ann — December 27, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    I agree, crab is pretty special. We used to have a restaurant here that served all you could eat legs for Sunday brunch. I ate them like a starved wild animal. These tarts look wonderful and I'm saving the recipe.


  6. #
    Kate — December 27, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    I'm with you on the crab meat. Wish we could have it weekly!! Those tarts look fantastic. Now the best part is that we have a seafood feast on New Year's Eve. Just the two of us and seafood and a bottle of Prosecco. These may just have to show up :-)


  7. #
    Mary — December 27, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    These really look luscious and I need recipes for warm appetizers. This has just moved to my must try list. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary


  8. #
    Lori Lynn — December 27, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    I love the free-form shape of your tartlets. Very pretty. Oh I bet this would be perfect on New Year's especially with some bubbly!
    Happy Holidays Sommer!


  9. #
    My Kitchen in the Rockies — December 27, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    I also like crab and the tartlets would be a hit at my New Years Eve party. Recipe will be bookmarked. Thanks for sharing!


  10. #
    Dinners and Dreams — December 27, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

    Sommer, these crab tartlets look very accessible with this easy recipe. Hope you had a great holiday!



  11. #
    claire — December 27, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    I am also gaga over crab meat… These look precious!

    I am going to a party about 3 hours away… do you think the filling would travel okay, if i made the pastry and baked when I arrived?


  12. #
    Evan @swEEts — December 27, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

    Well we'll be skiing for New Years but you best bet that these will be making an appearance at some dinner party we'll have! I LOVE crab.. and I used to love Red Lobster too :) Their biscuits are soo good.


  13. #
    Emily Z — December 27, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

    Your tartlets look delicious. If we were hosting a New Year's party, I would totally make these. But we're not. So I will have to bookmark them for a later day! Your Red Lobster story was cute. :)


  14. #
    Sommer J — December 27, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    This looks absolutely divine! I loooooove crab meat, too, and used to think Red Lobster was class. Then I visited home and was sadly disappointed. I love this creative recipe!! Will have to try this out in 2011 for sure! Nice to meet you fellow Sommer J ;-)


  15. #
    sara @ CaffeIna — December 27, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

    my hubby is sitting next to me saying "oooh that looks good!" and he is so right! I love that you use crab meat in tartlettes…I love savory tartlettes and these look so chic!


  16. #
    Mother Rimmy — December 27, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    Lovely appetizer. I love the combination of crab and fresh tarragon!


  17. #
    Angie's Recipes — December 27, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    Those tartlets make great party finger food. I love the addition of fresh tarragon.


  18. #
    NANA Scriv — December 27, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    This is so funny because I recently blogged about Red Lobster not being what it use to be:
    But I love crab too. The best place I've ever visited for crab is the Crab Shanty in Ellicot City, MD. I could eat there daily if I lived close by. I will definitely make your warm crab tartlets. Love your blog.


  19. #
    Torviewtoronto — December 27, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    flavourful tarts looks fabulous


  20. #
    Tiffany — December 27, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    I attempted some crab cakes a few weeks ago, total disaster, but I love crab, I think I will try these tartlets, thank you for sharing!


  21. #
    Claudia — December 27, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

    Yes, love crab for New Years. Always. I love the rustic look of these and really they're not hard- and would certainly win hearts in my home.


  22. #
    Prerna@IndianSimmer — December 27, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

    OMG, crab's my recent favorite! I mean I've recently fallen in love with it and 'm not sure why I never tasted it before. This recipe looks great. I was looking for one such tried n tested crab recipe that doesn't scare me, to try!
    P.S: I too used to think until recently that Red Lobster is the fanciest restaurant :-)


  23. #
    Jennifurla — December 27, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

    Me too! LOL, that and Olive Garden. These look to die for.


  24. #
    Stella — December 27, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

    You're so cute, Sommer! I used to love Red Lobster too, and I still love crab meat: snow and blue being my favorites. In fact, this type of meat is what I eat when I cheat. Ooh, that rhymed (smile).
    These crab tartlets look wonderful by the way, and I'm sure they're better than what most restaurants would serve up these days;-)


  25. #
    Roxan — December 27, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    Ha ha, I thought that red lobster was high class too, along with black angus! These crab tartlets look delicious! I will have to make them for my next get together. My husband will love them…


  26. #
    Cake Duchess — December 27, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

    Red Lobster was so fancy for me too!lol. These look amazing and I can't wait ton try your tasty recipe.


  27. #
    Winelady Cooks — December 27, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

    Seems that crab meat is a perfect appetizer food. Your recipe looks fantastic. I'll have to give it a try this upcoming weekend.

    Happy Holidays!
    Thanks for sharing,


  28. #
    The Mom Chef — December 27, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

    Oh Sommer, those look fantastic. I love crab too. I'd probably finish off the whole pan by myself!


  29. #
    Kita — December 27, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    Yes. Please.

    These look and sound great. Ill have to make them soon!


  30. #
    Gourmet Gadget Gal — December 27, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    Seriously Sommer – ME TOO about the Red Lobster as a child!! I was just telling Paul about how that was "the" place to go for birthdays when I was little and the height of sophistication with a Shirley Temple cocktail. Great post! Doesn't it make you wonder what our babies will think looking back? The recipe looks perfect for New Years Eve.


  31. #
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs — December 27, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    I love crab too, especially crab cakes. These crab tarts look great and I might just have to make them for New Year's Eve.


  32. #
    Katie@Cozydelicious — December 27, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

    These look awesome! Perfect party food! Would it be terrible to cheat and use store-bought pie crust? Oooh, or maybe wonton wrappers would be fun pressed into the tins in place of flaky dough – they would crisp up at the edges and make a crab rangoon sort of thingy.


  33. #
    Carolyn — December 27, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

    When I was a kid, going to Swiss Chalet (a roasted chicken chain restaurant in Canada) was beyond exciting. But it's laughable now! Your crab tartlets are gorgeous, though. I am so saving this recipe!


  34. #
    Kristen — December 27, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

    Yum! I was the same way when I was little, thinking that Red Lobster was fancier than it was. Seafood was always a treat, so Red Lobster had to be something special! Your tarts sound amazing.


  35. #
    Lizzy — December 28, 2010 @ 12:37 am

    Oh, YUM! I adore crab as well…these look like fabulous appetizers!


  36. #
    Reeni — December 28, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    I was laughing while reading because my Mom loves Red Lobster – she's easy to please! These tartlets look insanely good – I'll take these over Red Lobster anytime


  37. #
    Julie M. — December 28, 2010 @ 1:54 am

    I love crab! these look delicious Sommer. Red Lobster used to be a favorite of mine when I was a kid too.


  38. #
    Jean — December 28, 2010 @ 2:27 am

    You can't go wrong with crab in my book, especially when they're in season. Love the idea of the tartlets!


  39. #
    Chocolate Freckles — December 28, 2010 @ 2:37 am

    I love crab! these are gorgeous!!!


  40. #
    Eileen — December 28, 2010 @ 2:56 am

    Your crab tarlets are beautiful. I really wished I liked seafood :( Isn't if funny how we see thing so differently as adults.


  41. #
    Diethood.com — December 28, 2010 @ 3:41 am

    LOL! I also thought that Red Lobster was as fancy as they come – then I grew up! :) Your tartlets sound sooo good!


  42. #
    baking.serendipity — December 28, 2010 @ 3:52 am

    These would make a great New Years Eve appetizer! I love why you thought Red Lobster was a fancy restaurant when you were a kid-too cute! I hope you had a great Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season :)


  43. #
    Trix — December 28, 2010 @ 4:19 am

    Well, as a Maryland girl, I can absolutely relate to your feelings on crab meat! I thought Bonanza steak restaurant was the fanciest place on the planet, lol!! Yes, much had changed … but these crab cups look fab.


  44. #
    thelonelyradish.com — December 28, 2010 @ 5:13 am

    Crab does not get used enough! It's not any more expensive then a good steak, or organic chicken for that matter. Lobster gets all the glory, and often crab has all the flavor. You rarely can go wrong with a good tartlette, but you can only go right if their is crab in them. Hope you are having a great holiday!


  45. #
    Gitte — December 28, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    That's excatly what I was thinking, these would be perfect for New Years Eve. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Wishing you and your family and very Happy New Year!


  46. #
    Indie.Tea — December 28, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    Awww, those look SO good! And elegant, and tasty, and very presentable. They make me wish that the boy wasn't so severely allergic to crustaceans, or I'd hop over and make those tomorrow!


  47. #
    The Food Hound — December 28, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    Very elegant and DECADENT!! I love crab, too!! Goes so well with cream and pastry :) But wait… anything goes well with cream and pastry… :)


  48. #
    apiciusapprentice — December 28, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    These look delicious! And I sympathize with the Red Lobster comment ;) I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas, Sommer!


  49. #
    Rosa's Yummy Yums — December 28, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    Terrific! Those tartlets must be very tasty and so enjoyable!

    Happy New Year!




  50. #
    laura — December 28, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    These are so pretty, Sommer! I also loved the snow crab legs at RL – we always went when we visited my g-pa's in AL and I actually miss going there when we visit now (no longer a tradition and I haven't been in years). Who knows what is in those biscuits, and they are greasy, but somewhat addictive if fresh. ( :


  51. #
    sweetlife — December 28, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    happy holidays, sommer
    I love your story I always thought the same, how funny when we realize we can achieve better at home, how funny about two months ago, down the street they opened a new red lobster, it was SOOOOO BUSY, i laughed each time I passed by..



  52. #
    Peggy — December 28, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    This sounds like a perfect appetizer for a dinner party! I definitely would have a hard time keeping my hands off of them!


  53. #
    Lawyer Loves Lunch — December 28, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

    I agree- Red Lobster may not be fancy but it sure is delicious! Although these little tarts could give RL a run for their money. I'm going to try them out this weekend :)


  54. #
    Monet — December 28, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

    This post made me laugh…and crave crabmeat. I used to think the same thing about Red Lobster. I do still love those biscuits! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. Here's to a great week with lots of good eats and laughter!


  55. #
    Rick — December 29, 2010 @ 12:36 am

    Crab is soooooo good.


  56. #
    shamanaccount — December 29, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    Thats soooo deliciously looking! Perfect for this cold weather! Yay! Love this one. Bookmarked!


  57. #
    5 Star Foodie — December 29, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

    Your warm crab tartlets sound so delicious, perfect appetizers for sure!


  58. #
    Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris — December 29, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

    I loved the way you wrote this, and the crab cakes!!
    Happy New Year!!


  59. #
    A Canadian Foodie — December 29, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

    What a beautiful read and recipe. I appreciate the tutorial as it helped me understand your process so clearly.


  60. #
    briarrose — December 30, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

    So precious. An excellent appetizer for any party. Mini food is just so appealing. ;)


  61. #
    Magic of Spice — December 30, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

    These tarts are gorgeous and most definitely perfect for a New Years celebration :)


  62. #
    Sprinkled with Flour — January 1, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

    My first comment was, "oooooh, crab." These would be a perfect party appetizer, and I love the flavors here, especially the tarragon:)


  63. #
    Hyosun Ro — January 4, 2011 @ 2:25 am

    These little ones look beautiful and delicious. I am saving the recipe for my next party.


  64. #
    Tasty Eats At Home — January 5, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    I too thought Red Lobster was the greatest place ever. It was the fancy seafood place my dad would take my mom for birthdays and anniversaries – so it must be amazing, right? I also loved the biscuits. And while I can't say I ever ate crab there, it is one of my favorite things from the sea. While I love it simply steamed, these also look spectacular. Hope you had a great holiday.


  65. #
    Christine (CookTheStory) — January 7, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

    We didn’t eat out often when I was young, but when we did, if crab was on the menu, I always ordered it too. Your tarts look delicious.


Leave a Comment