Buckwheat Pancakes with Crab and Brandy Cream Sauce

Filled with crab, baby leeks and a hint of Somerset brandy, these pancakes from Martin Blunos make a rich and luxurious dinner party starter
By Martin Blunos
Buckwheat Pancakes with Crab and Brandy Cream Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1 hr to rest
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pancakes

  • 250 g buckwheat or wholemeal flour
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 1 pinches caster sugar
  • 750 ml milk
  • 20 g unsalted butter, melted
  • olive oil, for frying

For the filling

  • 1 large cooked crab, or picked white and brown crabmeat: ask your fishmonger for the bones
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 star anise
  • 125 ml Somerset brandy
  • 250 ml fish stock
  • 400baby g leeks, chopped, blanched and refreshed, cooking water reserved
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper

Method

1. Put the buckwheat and plain flours in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs together with the salt and sugar. Pour in half of the milk and start mixing to a thick batter. Add the remaining milk and melted butter to make a thin liquid batter. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

2. Wipe a non-stick pan with a little olive oil, heat the pan and pour in just enough batter to make a thin pancake. Cook until coloured slightly on the bottom, flip and cook for a few more seconds to set. Turn out onto a tea towel and repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the pancakes as you go, layering each with greaseproof paper. Cover and keep warm.

3. Pick the crabmeat from its shell and reserve the white and brown meat separately in the fridge. Smash the crab shells into small pieces and place in a large pan. Place on a medium heat on the hob and add the tomato puree and star anise. Pour in the brandy and flame.

4. Add the fish stock and about 100ml of the leek blanching water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Skim and cook gently for 30 minutes before straining through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Bring back to boil, add the cream and reduce to a sauce consistency. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

5. Season both the brown and white crabmeats with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Chop the parsley and add to the white meat along with some of the blanched leek. Bind with a little of the sauce to make it sticky.

6. Spread a little of the brown meat on each pancake, top with a spoonful of white meat. Roll up and arrange on a serving dish. Spoon the sauce around and serve with the remaining leeks.

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