The Crab Creme Brûlée is the signature dish in The Tannery, Dungarvan and while I’ve never had the privilege of trying it myself, I have heard so many people blowing on about it I feel like I know it well. I was lucky enough to go to a cooking demonstration in their cookery school just before Christmas and Paul Flynn showed us how to do a take on it using smoked salmon instead of crab and it was delicious. So even though I had never tasted the original, I was still cheeky/stupid enough to go messing with the recipe by adding some fresh dill. Dill is my al time favourite herb and for some bizarre reason, I think it gives a mad butteriness to dishes. I know this makes no sense at all, here must be some knot in the neurological pathways in my brain. Or I might be subconsciously remembering some dill-flavoured butter I had as a kid and have since linked the two. Whatever the reason, dill is aniseedy tasting which lots of people loathe so leave it out if you like.
The only other addition I made was the crab claws. A creme brûlée, literally meaning burned cream, is known to have the hard, cracking layer of burned sugar on top. While I can’t strongly enough advise against dusting off the blow-torch and burning on a sugary crust, I felt it could have done with some hard garnish to take the sugars place. I used a supermarket-bought crab claw
- 400 ml cream
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks
- a quarter tsp grated nutmeg
- a half a clove of garlic, grated
- 1 tsp sushi ginger, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch of fresh dill
- 150 g crab meat
- 1 pinch of se salt flakes
- a pinch of white pepper
- Take a large jug or bowl and add the cream, egg, yolks, nutmeg, garlic, ginger and dill and blitz it up with a hand-blender so that everything is chopped and evenly dispersed but don't aerate the cream and egg.
- Add the crab meat and mix it in with a spoon.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste before you cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes but preferably overnight to let the flavours develop.
- When you take it out, allow the mixture to come up to room temperature before placing 5 ramekins into a wide, deep roasting dish.
- Stir the mixture and fill the ramekins. Transfer them to a preheated oven at 140 degrees celsius and fill the roasting dish with hot water from a recently boiled kettle.
- Allow them to cook for 40-50 minutes until they are just set with a little wobble in the middle.
- Allow them to cool before plating up with some buttered brown bread and garnish with a sprig of dill and a crab claw.