Scallop, Crab and Prawn Tart

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If you can get the little queen scallops, they are the sweetest of all, and cheaper, too. To make 8 individual tarts, instead of 1 large one, use 10cm (4in) tartlet tins and increase the quantities of scallops, crab meat and prawns slightly. Bake the pastry blind for only 15–20 minutes.

Ingredients

For The Pastry

  • 250 g (8 oz) strong plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 25 g (1 oz) semolina
  • 175 g (6 oz) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

For The Filling

  • 250 g (8 oz) scallops, sliced fairly thinly and corals halved if large
  • 250 g (8 oz) mixed crab meat
  • 75 g (3 oz) peeled prawns
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 300 ml (½ pint) double cream
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Lemon slices and Extra tarragon to garnish

Method

To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the semolina, then rub in the butter lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Lightly whisk the egg with the water and mix it into the flour and semolina with a knife until the mixture starts to stick together.

Gather the pastry mixture into a ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a piece large enough to line a 25-28cm (10-11in) loose-bottomed flan tin. Line the tin with the pastry, pressing a rolling pin round the edges to cut off the excess neatly.

Refrigerate the pastry case for at least 30 minutes. Take the pastry-lined tin out of the refrigerator, and line it with greaseproof paper and dried beans (page 245). Bake the pastry blind at 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden. Remove the greaseproof paper and beans and leave the tart to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

To prepare the filling, place the thinly sliced scallops and their corals in a bowl with the crab meat and peeled prawns. Mix in the chopped chilli, the crushed garlic, the chopped tarragon and the ground mace. In another bowl whip the cream until beginning to thicken, then add the lightly beaten egg, the lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue beating until thick, then stir lightly into the fish mixture.

Pour the fish and cream mixture into the cooled pastry case and sprinkle a dash of paprika across the centre.

Bake the tart in the centre of a preheated oven, 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5 for 15–20 minutes, until the filling is set and lightly browned. Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool a little, then carefully remove from the tart tin and place on a serving plate.

Garnish the tart with lemon slices and extra sprigs of fresh tarragon if you like, then serve. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature but never straight from the refrigerator.