500g plain flour plus extra for dusting
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, finely zested
250g unsalted butter, cold and cubed + 1
1 tablespoon ice cold water
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
50ml whole milk
200ml double cream
70g watercress, chopped (a few sprigs saved for
250g picked, white crab meat
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
A handful of pea shoots to garnish
1 Place the plain flour in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper and the zest of 1 lemon. Mix well, then add the cold, cubed butter. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until flakes have formed.
2 Separate 2 eggs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of ice cold water. Use a dinner knife to incorporate the flour into the liquid and form a rough ball of dough. Use your hands to pat it into a disc. Cover in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3 Once the pastry has chilled, lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thickness. Take 8x8cm loose bottomed tart tins and line with the pastry, allowing a little overhang. Prick the bases a few times with a fork and allow the pastry to chill in the fridge again for 30 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, place a small frying pan on a low heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and melt. Add the sliced spring onion and saute for 5 minutes or until just softened. Tip into a bowl and place to one side.
5 Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.
6 Remove the pastry cases from the fridge and place on a baking sheet. Line each with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice and blind bake for 10 minutes.
7 Meanwhile, whisk the remaining egg white a little. Remove the baking beans and parchment, brush the inside of the cases with egg white then return the pastry case to the oven for a further 5 minutes until lightly golden. Once baked, trim the excess pastry off with a Y-shaped peeler.
8 Whisk the remaining eggs in a large mixing bowl with a good pinch of salt, pepper and a few gratings of lemon zest. Pour in the milk, cream, cooked spring onion and the chopped watercress then whisk again. Evenly distribute half the crab meat between the cases. Pour or ladle the mixture into the tart cases.
9 Place the tarts in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and golden.
10 Serve warm or cold topped with the remaining crab, watercress sprigs, remaining lemon zest, pea shoots and chopped chilli.
Recipe by Clarence Court