Jay frank's red cornmeal tartlets with crab, spinach and ham

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter; softened
1 pack (3-ounce) cream cheese; softened
1 cup Stone-ground red cornmeal*; divided
1 cup Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Cumin
⅛ teaspoon Cayenne
2 tablespoons Water; (up to 3)
6 larges Eggs
1½ cup Heavy cream
¼ teaspoon Cayenne
1 pinch Freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup Slivered Smithfield ham
2 cups Julienne-cut thoroughly cleaned fresh spinach leaves
½ pounds Jumbo lump crab meat



Makes 8 4-inch tarts

*Stone-ground yellow, white or blue cornmeal can be substituted.

Crust: Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add ½ cup cornmeal and mix thoroughly. Sift flour with salt, cumin and cayenne. Stir in remaining cornmeal. Stir dry ingredients and water into creamed mixture until incorporated. Shape into a ball, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut dough into quarters. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one quarter of dough and use to line two tartlet pans; repeat with remaining pastry.

Line each with foil or wax paper, fill with dried beans and bake in preheated 350 degree oven 20 minutes. Let cool; remove beans and foil.

Filling: In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, cream, cayenne and nutmeg into a smooth custard.

Divide ham, spinach and crab meat among tartlet shells. Divide custard evenly among tartlets. Bake in preheated 375 oven until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrients each: 463 calories, 35 grams fat (68 percent total calories), 262 milligrams cholesterol, 580 milligrams sodium.

— Chef Jay Frank, The Dining Room, The Berkeley Hotel Posted to KitMailbox Digest by John Pellegrino <gigimfg@...> on Apr 11, 1998

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