A few months ago, myself & The Hubs had a lovely meal at The Tannery and one of the highlights for me was the Crab Creme Brulee. It's Paul Flynn's signature dish and I could have eaten it in industrial quantities, such was its deliciousness. I've been meaning to make it at home for ages but never quite got around to it until this weekend when I spotted some crab in the local supermarket and decided to give it a go.
A word of advice, when a pack of crab proclaims that it is "ready to eat", it still should be checked through carefully by hand as I found many shards of shell hiding in the meat and the last thing you want is to bite down on some hard shell as it's not a pleasant experience at all. Trust me...
This is a dish that requires some preparation in advance because the crab custard needs to sit in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to allow all of the flavours to absorb. You also need to make the pickled cucumber a few hours in advance to allow the marinade to cool before adding it to the sliced cucumber.
Paul Flynn's Crab Creme Brulee
2 Egg Yolks
2 tbsp Pickled Ginger, finely chopped
150g white crab meat, picked over & finely chopped
1 clove of Garlic, grated
Salt & Pepper
50g Parmesan, grated
Beat the cream & eggs in a large bowl, add the ginger, garlic, salt and pepper and mix. Add in the crab meat (check it again to make sure there's no shell lurking) and stir well. Cover with cling film & refrigerate for at least an hour to let the crab infuse. Ideally, you should let this sit in the fridge over night but do what you can...
Preheat the oven to 150c/Gas Mark 3
Ladle the mixture into 4 ramekins, making sure everybody gets the same amount of crab. Place the ramekins into a deep roasting tray & fill the tray with warm water until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. This type of cooking in a water filled tray is called a bain marie, in case you're interested.
Bake for 45-60 minutes but check the ramekins after 40 minutes. When it's cooked, the crab creme brulee should be set but have the hint of a wobble (a bit like pannacotta). Remove the ramekins from the bain marie & allow to cool. When you're ready to serve, sprinkle a very thin layer of Parmesan over the top & brown under the grill.
Serve the crab creme brulee at room temperature with pickled cucumber, plenty of melba toast and some lemon wedges to squeeze over for a hit of sharpness to cut through all that crabby richness.