Cromer crab, crème fraîche & chive tart, torched blood orange and cucumber tartlet

recipe by Terry Balme, The Hog Hotel, Pakefield

Cromer crab, crème fraîche & chive tart, torched blood orange and cucumber tartlet

Servings: 3


Chef’s note: Executive Chef Terry Balme at The Hog Hotel shares this lovely tartlet recipe. It is a perfect summer dish, making the best of local crab. 


for the pastry

for the crab filling

for the garnish


  1. First, make the pastry by combining the plain flour, salt, and water together. Add the diced butter and mix until it forms a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  2. Pickle the cucumber by putting the vinegar and sugar in a pan and boiling until the sugar has dissolved. Cool completely. Make cucumber ribbons by slicing lengthways down a cucumber or for fine ribbons, use
    a good vegetable peeler or mandolin. Add the ribbons to the pickling liquid, mix well and leave in the fridge.
    You can cut the cucumber however you like, but I prefer to slice it into ribbons as it is smarter for presentation at the restaurant.

  3. Top and tail the blood orange and use a knife to cut around the orange in a barrel shape to remove the outer skin and white pith. Cut out the segments by making a v shape against each pith.

  4. Prepare the crab filling by scooping the crabmeat from the shell and placing into a mixing bowl. Add
    the chives, a pinch of sea salt, the lemon juice, and then the crème fraîche. Mix well, then place in the fridge for later.

  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Roll to around 0.5cm in thickness, then line a small tart case, around 10cm, with the pastry. Place some baking parchment over the pastry
    and cover with baking beans. Bake the tart cases for around 15 minutes at 180°C, remove the baking beans and parchment, and bake for a further 5 minutes. Allow the tart cases to cool completely before filling.

  6. Wash all the garnishes gently, then lay on a paper towel to absorb any excess water.

  7. To assemble the tarts, add the crab mix into the tart cases, layer some pickled cucumber over the top of the crab, blow torch the blood orange segments and then place over the crab.

  8. Garnish with the cresses, chive flowers, and elderflower to make it look pretty.

  9. Eat immediately

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