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Txangurro Tartlets

Javier De La Hormaza
Based on the traditional San Sebastian dish called Txangurro a la Donostiarra, these little tartlets are a delicious pintxo to serve as a pre-dinner canapé. The sauce is made from crab meat slowly cooked with shallots, leeks and tomatoes and flambé with Cognac. The mix is then spooned into the crispiest of tartlets made from pâte à foncer pastry and baked under a hot grill
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, side, Snack
Cuisine Basque, fish
Servings 6


  • 1 large spider crab or crab weighing 1kg or 350g crab meat
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 large spring onion finely sliced
  • 1 leek only the white part finely sliced
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes peeled and deseeded
  • 150 ml tomato sauce
  • 50 ml Cognac
  • 1 ladle shellfish stock
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Few knobs of butter
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley

For the shortcrust pastry:

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 125 g unsalted butter cut into small pieces and slightly softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tbsp fine salt
  • 40 ml cold water


  • For the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl or work surface and make a well. Add the butter, egg, sugar and salt in the middle and with your fingertips, mix and cream the ingredients. Now, little by little, draw the flour into the centre and work the dough until you get a grainy texture. Add the cold water and mix it until the dough begins to hold together. Knead for 4 or 5 times until smooth. Roll the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Roll out the pastry to a 2mm thickness. Using a 10cm cutter as a guide, cut out 12 rounds. Use these to line a 12 individual loose-bottomed quiche tins, 5 cm in diameter and 1 cm deep. Leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F/Gas Mark 4. Prick the pastry case bases. Bake the cases blind for 8 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Unmould onto a wire rack and allow to cool down.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a medium sized pan, add the onions and leek and poach very slowly for 20 minutes, add the Cognac, and flambé. Add the tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, and cook slowly for a further 15 to 20 minutes, wet the sauce with the ladle of shellfish stock and add the crab meat, cook for a couple of minutes and stir well.
  • Pour the filling into the pastry tartlets, the sauce should not be too liquid or too dry, sprinkle the top of the tartlets with the breadcrumbs and place one knob of butter on top. Place the crab tartlets into a pre-heated oven at 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve immediately.


This episode is sponsored by Mediterranean Supermarket 
Keyword crab, crab cakes, fish, fish dish, tartlets