For the pastry:
For the filling:
You will need a food processor, cling film and a flan or tart tin, ideally non-stick with a detachable bottom.
Prep time: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes resting
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
First make the pastry. Add the flour, butter and grated Parmesan to the food processor and season well with salt and pepper.
Blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and blitz again until the pastry comes together in a ball. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. This will make the pastry short and flaky.
Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice it thinly. Press the slices into the buttered flan dish like a jigsaw and firmly push and manoeuvre the pieces together using the tips of your fingers. Cut smaller slices for the sides and repeat until the whole of the tart tin is covered in pastry.
On top of the pastry, line the flan dish with a big square of baking parchment large enough to cover it all. Add in the baking beans or rice to the baking parchment and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry has started to go golden brown.
This is called ‘baking blind’ and gives you a nice crust on the bottom of your quiche. The baking beans act as a weight, ensuring the pastry doesn’t rise while cooking. You can store them in a container with the baking parchment once you’ve finished with them and use them again and again.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until broken and combined. Add the white and brown crab meat, grated fennel, grated courgette, grated Parmesan, cream, cayenne pepper or chilli flakes, zest of lemon, spring onion, chives, chopped fennel herbs, Maldon sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Once the pastry is golden brown, add the crab mixture to the pastry case and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch.
The tart will rise during cooking and sink as it cools.
This delicious served warm with dressed green leaves and some sort of fresh vegetable slaw. Enjoy!
DOWNLOAD OR PRINT RECIPE HERE.
You can either use fresh crab or packaged white and brown meat here. There are a number of options in the supermarket these days. Stick to the fresh packets rather than tinned crab and it will be delicious. Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, when you can either heat it through again or enjoy it at room temperature (leave it on the side for 10 minutes before eating). It’s best not served cold straight from the fridge.”