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Crab gratin with brandy


Serves: 4 as a starter
timePrep time: 35 mins
timeTotal time:
Crab gratin with brandy
Recipe photograph by Kate Whitaker

Crab gratin with brandy


Serves: 4 as a starter
timePrep time: 35 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
348Kcal
Fat
24gr
Saturates
12gr
Carbs
12gr
Sugars
3gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
17gr
Salt
0.6gr

Sybil Kapoor

Sybil Kapoor

Sybil Kapoor is a chef, food writer and broadcaster with two prestigious Glenfiddich Awards and two Guild of Food Writers awards for outstanding writing. Her fresh approach to food is always an inspiration.

See more of Sybil Kapoor’s recipes
Sybil Kapoor

Sybil Kapoor

Sybil Kapoor is a chef, food writer and broadcaster with two prestigious Glenfiddich Awards and two Guild of Food Writers awards for outstanding writing. Her fresh approach to food is always an inspiration.

See more of Sybil Kapoor’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 x 100g pots Taste the Difference Orkney white and brown crab meat
  • 1⁄2 onion
  • 1 clove
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 100ml single cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 3 medium egg yolks (freeze the whites to use in meringues, if you like)
  • a squeeze of lemon juice, plus wedges, to serve
  • a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp dried fine white breadcrumbs
  • Melba toast and salad leaves, to serve

Step by step

Get ahead
Prepare up to 1 day in advance; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature 2 hours before topping and grilling.
  1. Tip the crab meat into a sieve set over a bowl, press gently with a spoon to extract as much excess liquid as possible, then cover and leave to drip in the fridge.
  2. Put the onion, clove, peppercorns, bay leaf, milk and cream in a small pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover and leave for 15 minutes then strain into a jug.
  3. Rinse out the milk pan then melt half the butter over a low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook for a minute, then slowly add the strained milk, stirring all the time to form a smooth sauce. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.
    Tip
    To make Melba toast, toast thick slices of white bread on both sides under the grill then remove the crusts. Take each slice and lay it flat on a work surface, then carefully cut through the middle to make two thinner slices. Cut into triangles and arrange on a baking tray, untoasted side up. Grill until golden and crisp; the edges will curl as they toast.

  4. Melt the remaining butter in a different nonstick pan over a medium to high heat. Add the crab meat and fry for a minute until it looks dry. Take off the heat, add the brandy and, using a match, ignite the mixture to burn off the raw alcohol flavour. Stir until the flame has gone out. Add the crab to the sauce, along with the tarragon, mustard powder, egg yolks, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and seasoning.
  5. Spoon the mix into 4 ramekins. If not serving immediately, cover and chill. Before serving, mix the Parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top. Heat the grill to medium high and set the grill rack about 10cm from the heat. Once hot, place the ramekins under the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they are piping hot and golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges, Melba toast and salad. This recipe contains partially cooked eggs.
Chef quote
This classic do-ahead dish is a nod to the 1970s – delicious with Melba toast and salad

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