Brunch, Food, Recipes, Seafood

Crab and Onion Tart

Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoI’ve found the recipe for this crab tart a few years ago in an old French cookbook. The original recipe was a bit too bland to my taste, so I’ve decided to make a few changes.I omitted the flour from the filling, in order to make it lighter. I also replaced some of the white flour with semolina and spelt flour, to create a crispy texture and add a nutty flavor. I added lemon juice and zest to both the dough and filling, spiced it up a bit with black pepper and cayenne and added a bit of honey for a hint of sweetness.
At the same time, I tried not to add too many flavorings, so that the crab meat flavor and texture would not be masked. Now the tart has a nice contrast between the flaky dough and the soft and tasty filling, and is just perfect as a light lunch or dinner, with green salad on the side.
So it looks like this is going to be the final version. Try it and enjoy.

Makes: 8
Prep time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Baking time: 1 hour
For the dough:
1 cup flour
1 stick (115 grams) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
¼ cup fine semolina
¾ cup spelt flour
1 L egg white (save the egg yolk for the filling)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbs lemon zest
1-2 Tbs cold water
For the filling:
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1.5 oz (45 grams) butter, soft
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
2/3 cup whole milk
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
½ tsp salt
1 tsp honey
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs lemon zest
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 can (6 oz/170 grams) crab meat
1 can (8oz/225 grams) can lump crab meat

1. The dough: in a large bowl, mix the flour and butter to a coarse mixture. Add the salt, semolina, spelt flour, egg white, lemon juice and zest, and mix briefly. Add 1-2 Tbs cold water, just enough to create a dough. Do not over mix. Wrap with wax paper and place in the fridge for one hour.
Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoCrab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoCrab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso
2. Preheat the oven to 355F (180C). Roll the dough on a floured surface to a round sheet ¼” (½ cm) thick. Place the rolled dough in a 10” (26cm) baking pan, or a large tart pan. Trim the edges and press them with your fingers to the rim of the pan, to create a decorative pattern. Place baking paper on top and add some beans, to prevent the dough from rising during the baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Take out but keep the oven on. Let cool a bit before adding the filling.
Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoCrab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoCrab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso
3. The filling: mix the onion, butter, salt, honey, black pepper and cayenne in a small pan. Sauté over medium high heat, mixing occasionally,  until the onion is soft and golden. let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, mix the milk and eggs. Add the onions, salt, honey, tomato paste, lemon zest and black pepper and mix well. Add the crab meat and crab lumps and mix gently with a spatula, so that the lumps will not break.
Pour into the semi-baked dough and place in the oven.
p1180959 Crab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso Crab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso Crab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso
Bake for 40 minutes, until the filling is golden-brown. Leave in the pan for 5 minutes than carefully transfer to a cutting board and cut into 8 portions.
Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoCrab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso Crab and Onion Tart Ronit PensoCrab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso Crab and Onion Tart Ronit Penso

80 thoughts on “Crab and Onion Tart”

        1. Thank you Mary, I understand the eagerness to find “no flour” recipe.
          It’s just a shame that flour has become the new enemy and so many avoid it even when there’s no real medical reason for it.
          In any case, if the reason is gluten sensitivity, note that both semolina and spelt flour contain gluten.


  1. You had me at crab! I ate at a Thai restaurant for lunch today, and had a dish with crab and was just thinking how rare it is to eat crab, but how much I enjoy it. Have a great week!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mmm. . . This looks wonderful. The beans look like good way to keep the crust from rising, When I bake (or semi-bake) a crust before adding the filling I tend to have the most difficulty with the sides of the crust shrinking or semi-caving in. Do you have any ideas about how to avoid this problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sheryl, I’m glad you liked the recipe.
      The dough here contains egg white, so it is less likely to shrink. However, I still use the beans to prevent the crust from rising, and they also help with keeping the sides from collapsing.
      Another method you could use, is to place the pan with the rolled dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before baking.
      I hope it helps. Good luck! 🙂


      1. Thanks! These are really helpful suggestions. I should try adding egg white to my dough recipe – and I really like the idea of putting it into the freezer for a few minutes prior to baking. I always make a French Silk pie at Thanksgiving and have trouble with the crust. I’m going to give these suggestions a try when I make it this year.

        Liked by 1 person

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