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    Mrs Beeton's Exquisite Potted Crab

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    Mrs Beeton's Exquisite Potted Crab

    A recipe from my own Edwardian edition of Mrs Beeton's great work, Household Management. Poor Isabella did not live long enough to benefit from its success, although the book, constantly revised and rewritten over the decades, has never been out of print since first published in 1861

    Serves: 6


    • 250g crab meat
    • 600ml single cream
    • 1 whole egg, plus 4 egg yolks
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon ground chilli (hot paprika)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • For dusting
    • Grated parmesan
    • Paprika


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Pick over the crab meat and remove any stray bits of shell. Whisk the cream with the egg and the yolks, season with nutmeg, chilli and salt, then stir in the crab meat. Spoon the mixture into 6 small ramekins or small heat-proof bowls, as above. Set them in a roasting tin with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides (a bain marie). Bake for 25-30 minutes until softly set - the little custards will continue to cook after they come out of the oven.
    2. Dust the tops with a little paprika mixed with grated parmesan. Serve warm, with melba toast, made by toasting white bread, crusts removed, then splitting each slice in half through the middle and drying until crisp in a low oven.

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