Mary Berry's Crab and Herb Blinis with Pickled Fennel Herb Salad
Delicious for lunch or a light supper, this combines beautifully light blinis with fresh crab and a sharp fennel salad that cuts through the richness of the shellfish. If fresh crabmeat is not available, use thawed frozen crabmeat.
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|For the fennel salad:|
|15g (½oz)||light muscovado sugar|
|25ml (1fl oz)||white wine vinegar|
|1||fennel bulb, core removed|
|1||spring onion, finely sliced|
|½ tsp||chopped tarragon leaves|
|1 tbsp||chopped dill|
|salt and black pepper|
|For the herb blinis:|
|100g (4oz)||self-raising flour|
|½ tsp||baking powder|
|about 125ml (4fl oz)||milk|
|1 tbsp||chopped dill|
|2 tsp||snipped chives|
|vegetable oil, for frying|
|For the crab topping:|
|2 tbsp||full-fat crème fraîche|
|2 tsp||fresh lemon juice|
|2||spring onions, chopped|
|2 tsp||hot horseradish sauce|
|2 tbsp||chopped dill|
|1 tbsp||chopped parsley|
|Tabasco sauce, to taste|
|200g (7oz)||fresh white crabmeat|
|pea shoots, to garnish|
1. For the salad, measure the sugar and wine vinegar into a small pan. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then pour into a salad bowl and leave to cool. Slice the fennel as thinly as you can and add it to the bowl with the spring onions, herbs and seasoning. Stir to combine and leave to marinate for about an hour.
2. For the blinis, measure the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the egg and a little of the milk, then whisk to combine. Gradually whisk in the remaining milk to make a smooth batter with the consistency of thick pouring cream. Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a frying pan until hot and add little oil. Spoon in a heaped tablespoon of batter to make a large thin blini – almost like a Scotch pancake. Cook for a few minutes and when bubbles start to appear on the surface, flip it over and cook for 1–2 minutes until cooked through. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 4 blinis. Set them aside on a rack to cool.
4. To make the crab topping, mix the crème fraîche, lemon juice, spring onions, horseradish, herbs and Tabasco in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Reserve a heaped tablespoon of crabmeat and mix the rest into the bowl.
5. Sit each blini on a plate. Divide the crab mixture between them and spoon a little of the reserved crab in the centre of each. Spoon the salad next to the blinis and garnish with pea shoots.
Prepare ahead: Can make all the components up to 8 hours ahead, then assemble up to an hour before serving.