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Rick Stein’s Crab and Gruyère Tartlets

Mixing delicate white crab meat with rich brown meat, these delicious crab and gruyere tartlets from Rick Stein are perfect paired with a cold glass of Chablis.


Made with the freshest white crab meat, a little brown meat, some Gruyère cheese and the shortest of shortcrust pastry, this dish needs no accompaniment except perhaps a single sprig of parsley — and a chilled glass of premier cru Chablis. One large cooked brown crab should supply the right amount of crab meat for the tarts.

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225g (8oz) white crab meat
50g (2oz) brown crab meat
2 egg yolks
85ml (3fl oz) double cream
A pinch of cayenne pepper
50g (2oz) Gruyère cheese, finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry:
225 g (8oz) plain flour
½ tsp salt
65 g (2½oz) butter
65 g (2½oz) lard
1½ tbsp cold water
1 egg white

Essential kit

You will need a food processor and 4 shallow 11cm (4½in) loose-based tartlet tins.

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For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and lard cut into small pieces and process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Tip into a large mixing bowl and stir in the water with a round-bladed knife until everything starts to stick together Bring together into a ball, turn out on to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead once or twice until smooth. Roll out the pastry thinly and use to line 4 shallow 11 cm (4½ in) loose-based tartlet tins. Chill for 20 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

Line the pastry cases with crumpled greaseproof paper, cover the base with a generous layer of baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, brush the inside of each pastry case with a little unbeaten egg white and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Mix the crab meat with the egg yolks, cream, cayenne and some salt and pepper Spoon the mixture into the tartlet cases and sprinkle with the grated Gruyère cheese. Bake at the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve warm.

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