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
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.