Muncaster crab cannelloni, crisp claw, bisque, crab apple, sorrel

North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Standard Supplier 16th March 2011
North West Young Chef of the Year

Muncaster crab cannelloni, crisp claw, bisque, crab apple, sorrel

Chefs often regard crab meat as a two-in-one ingredient. While white meat contains a light and sweet flavour the brown meat is often richer in taste meaning it can be used as a mix and on its own due to its unique flavour. Why not give the following Muncaster crab cannelloni, crisp claw, bisque, crab apple, sorrel recipe a try in your kitchen? by Cumbria Young Chef of the Year 2011 Andrew Postlethwaite of Castle Green Hotel.


  • 1 small whole live Muncaster crab £4.00
  • Pasta
  • 125g 00 flour £0.25
  • 2 yolks £0.20
  • 1 egg £0.10
  • 1tsp olive oil £0.05
  • Cannelloni filling
  • 125g white crab meat
  • 30ml double cream £0.06
  • 40g brown crab meat
  • half tsp lemon juice £0.06
  • 20g diced apple £0.06
  • Crab claw
  • 2 crab claws (cartilage removed)
  • 1 egg £0.10
  • 20g plain flour £0.02
  • 20g breadcrumbs £0.01
  • Crab bisque
  • half a carrot £0.05
  • half an onion £0.05
  • half a stick celery £0.05
  • 1 clove garlic £0.02
  • 25ml brandy £0.35
  • 25ml white wine £0.04
  • 50ml crab apple verjus £0.47
  • 1 tsp tomato puree £0.05
  • 200ml fish stock (brought prepared) £0.50
  • Roasted crab shells
  • 2 leaves of sorrel £0.00
  • 50ml cream £0.10
  • Crab apple foam
  • 125ml crab apple juice £1.15
  • 15g caster sugar £0.02
  • 1g lecithin £0.01
  • 12 sorrel shoots £0.50


Cooking the crab. Put a pan of salted water onto boil (large enough to fit the crab in). When boiling put the crab in and boil for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave in the water for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. Remove and leave to stand on its nose so excess water drains off as it cools. When cool remove both arms, then separate the claws from the knuckle joint. Carefully break the shell around the claws, keeping them whole. Remove the cartilage from the middle of the claws. Remove the legs, then crack them and the knuckles open with a heavy knife, removing all the white crab meat. Turn the crab so it's upside down, then push the bottom part of the shell off (where the sockets for the legs are) and cut in half. Pick the crab meat out of the leg sockets. Remove the 'dead man's fingers' (the grey gills) and dispose of. Scoop out all the brown crab meat and keep separate from the white. Use the claws for the sauce.
Pasta. Put the flour in a blender with the olive oil. Pulse for 30 seconds, then slowly add the beaten egg and yolks and season. Pulse until it forms a dough, turn out and knead for 1 minute. Wrap in cling film and put in fridge to rest for about 30 minutes. Roll through the pasta machine to the thinnest setting and cut out a rectangle 10cm x 7cm. Cook in boiling salted for 1 minute then refresh in iced water.
Cannelloni filling. Mix the white crab meat, cream, brown crab meat, diced apple, lemon juice and seasoning together. Add 1tbsp of reduced crab bisque (from later in the recipe) and mix. Lay the pasta sheet onto cling film. Spoon the crab filling in a line lengthways then roll up into a cannelloni. Tie both ends of the cling film tightly to stop it unrolling.
Crab claw. Dust the claws with the flour, then dip in the beaten egg and coat in breadcrumbs.
Crab bisque. Roast the crab shells in a hot oven until browned. Meanwhile peel and chop the carrot, onion, celery and garlic and brown in a pan with some oil. Add the roasted crab shells and tomato puree and stir. Add the brandy, wine and crab apple verjus and reduce, then add the fish stock and sorrel leaves. Simmer for about 30 minutes, and crush the shells in the pan to extract the flavour. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce by ½. Finish with cream and check the seasoning.
Crab apple foam. Mix the crab apple juice with the sugar and heat. When warm add the lecithin using a hand blender to create a foam.
Wash the sorrel shoots.
To serve
Place the cannelloni (in the cling film) in a pan of boiling water and poach for 4-5 minutes.
Heat the crab bisque and the crab apple foam.
Deep fry the crumbed crab claw at 170°C for 2 minutes until golden brown.
Remove the cannelloni from the water and remove the cling film. Cut into two small cannelloni tubes and place in the bowl. Pour the crab bisque around it. Slice a tiny bit off the base end of the claw so it stands up and place next to the cannelloni. Froth the crab apple foam and spoon over the cannelloni. Finish with the sorrel shoots.

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