This recipe comes from Scotland, where the crabs are plentiful and as fresh as can be.
Have ready 2 soufflé dishes or 8-10 individual ramekins. Brush the dishes with soft butter and scatter with fine bread crumbs, shaking out the surplus.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the flour and cook gently for 2 minutes, stirring the while. Heat the milk and stir in, little by little, to make a smooth sauce. Add the bay leaf, onion, and seasoning to taste. Simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the anchovy essence, mustard, and crab meat. Beat in the egg yolks very vigorously. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add 1 heaped tablespoonful to the mixture and stir in, then gently fold in the rest a little at a time.
Divide the mixture between the dishes.
© 1999 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.