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Crab & Fennel Tarts

Guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, these cheesy crab and fennel tarts let winter produce sing.

Crab & Fennel Tarts

Serves 6

225g plain flour

½ tsp salt

65g chilled butter, chopped

65g chilled lard, chopped 

Filling

25g butter

½ cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup fennel, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

200g cooked crab meat

250ml pouring cream

½ cup gruyere, finely grated

3 egg yolks

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tbsp olive oil 

1 tbsp white-wine vinegar

2 heads witlof, sliced

¼ cup chervil leaves

Preheat oven to 220°C.

To make pastry, place flour, salt, butter, and lard into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons chilled water and process until pastry just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth. Divide dough into six pieces and roll out each piece into a 12cm round. Line six 9cm tart tins with pastry and refrigerate for
20 minutes.

Line tarts with baking paper and fill with baking beans; bake for 12 minutes. Remove paper and beads and bake for another 2-3 minutes, or until just turning golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat; add onion, fennel, and garlic; and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Divide filling among tarts and top with crab. Place cream, gruyere, egg yolks, and cayenne in a bowl; season with sea salt; and whisk to combine. Pour over crab and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Place oil and vinegar in a bowl, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and whisk to combine. Add witlof and chervil; toss to coat.

Place tarts on plates and top with witlof salad.

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