Crab Pâté

A really good fresh crab, with its magnificent claws, always brings joy to my heart. In fact, I think they are even more delectable than lobsters which can often be rather tough, though a perfect one is sublime – straight from the pot to the table. The following recipe will make crab go a lot further than just tucking in with mayonnaise, besides being very delicious with a fine, strong gutsy flavour.


  • 450 g/1 lb crab meat (half white meat, half brown)
  • 175 g/6 oz unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks (size 1 or 2)
  • 4 tbsp (double) cream
  • 3 tbsp medium sherry
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • Tabasco sauce
  • lemon juice


Melt the butter in a saucepan big enough to receive the rest of the ingredients. Stir in the crab meat, both colours (you can even use the frozen packs at a pinch; they come in 225 g/8 oz packs). Heat gently, stirring all together. Beat the egg yolks, cream and sherry together, then pour into the crab mixture. Continue to cook and stir until it all thickens. Keep the heat low, we don’t want any crumbling. Add the cheese and melt. Take off the heat and season with Tabasco and lemon juice to taste. Allow to cool.

Give the mixture a final good stirring, then pour into a souffle dish and chill for 6 hours or overnight. Eat with hot brown toast and butter, though it hardly needs it.