By focusing on the key ingredients in this beautifully light crab starter recipe, Claude Bosi really allows the sublime flavours of the sea to shine, pairing the delicate flavours of Devonshire crab with the freshness of sea herbs, the sharpness of Granny Smith apple and a subtle smokiness from the haddock. Check out our useful video for advice on removing the meat from a crab.
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Place the crab in the freezer until it is insensate
When ready to cook, remove the crab from the freezer and turn it over. Locate the v-shaped flap on the belly of the crab and drive a sharp knife or screwdriver inside – this will kill the crab
Cook the crab in boiling salted water for 12 minutes then cover with ice and leave to cool
1 crab, approximately 2 kilos
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Once cool, remove the brown crab meat and white crab meat separately and reserve in the fridge
To make the crab reduction for the bavarois, place the crab shells in a bag or kitchen cloth and break them up using a rolling pin
Transfer the broken pieces of shell to a tray and roast in the oven for around 30 minutes, until browned
In a large saucepan, sweat down the carrot, onion, celery and garlic, then add the tomato paste and the crab shells
Cover with water and simmer for 1 hour. After this time, strain the shells through a very fine sieve and reduce to a glaze consistency
To make the bavarois, dissolve the gelatine in 50g of the crab reduction by warming it slightly. Mix 200g of the brown crab meat with a little xanthan gum and blitz with a hand blender until smooth
350g of whipping cream, soft peaks
2 bronze gelatine leaves
Add the blended brown meat to the reduction, then fold through the whipped cream. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve
To make the consommé, begin by making a dashi stock. Place the water and kombu in a pan and cook at 65°C for 1 hour. After this time, increase the heat to 80°C and add the bonito. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and leave to cool to room temperature
1l mineral water
1 sheet of kombu
12g of bonito flakes
Once the stock has cooled, blitz the haddock with the egg whites in a blender and mix with the stock
500g of smoked haddock
3 egg whites
Place over a medium heat, whisking from time to time until the egg rises to the top to create a raft
Cook until the broth is completely clarified and the raft is firm, then carefully ladle out the consommé. Season with 50g of dashi per litre of consommé and add 1 leaf of gelatine per 150ml of consommé. Leave to set in a tray, then transfer to a piping bag
50g of dashi
1 bronze gelatine leaf
To serve, pipe the bavarois into the bottom of a glass and add a layer of crab meat. Pipe the jelly on top and garnish with the sea vegetables, herbs and diced apple
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
salty finger leaf
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