A very simple canapé: small discs of puff pastry, topped with crab meat that has been mixed with a little fresh mayonnaise, a spritz of lemon juice, some chopped chives and just a little grated Gruyère cheese.
These are gorgeous served warm, with chopped chives sprinkled over. However, they become absolutely heavenly when topped with a small amount of fresh lemony mayonnaise on top, an extra piece of crab meat and a generous grinding of black pepper, before being gently warmed up: just until the mayonnaise changes texture but before it has a chance to melt away.
These can, of course, be made into larger tarts for starters or as part of a main course, in which case I would serve them warm with a green salad, some buttered and minted new potatoes and some steamed asparagus.
To make these canapés I used some left over puff pastry I had made for another savoury dish. I rolled it out thinly, cut out small discs with a sharp cutter and then gently pushed a slightly smaller cutter on the surface, taking care just to go a little way in rather than all the way through. This is not supposed to give you anything like the rise that you want for vol-au-vents, but you get just enough buttery crispness from the pastry and that lovely sweet flavour of crab to give a satisfying mouthful and that “just one more” feeling!
I didn’t measure out the ingredients here: I just mixed enough mayonnaise to the crab meat to bind it. I was restrained with the cheese as I didn’t want it to clash with the crab, aiming instead for a subtle savoury note.
A small spoonful of the crab mixture is spread onto the inner circle of each pastry disc before baking at 190C (fan) for just over 10 minutes, until nicely risen, golden brown and cooked underneath.