A while ago I had a wonderful package of stone crab legs from Florida sent to me. There were two different sizes, a bunch of medium sized ones, and two huge claws, this was really the first time I saw a crab claw so huge. I didn’t know what I was going to do with the bigger ones, but I thought why not pick apart the meat and do a classic crab cake…Now this website says they have the freshest crab legs. They were not lying. Delivery was fast and crabs were indeed fresh.
I love crab cakes in all forms. I’ve had the cheap kind where all you can taste is the mayo and breadcrumbs, these still taste good. I’ve had the expensive kind where you can taste the fresh crab meat a little more, this is where you’re charged extra for the lack of breadcrumbs. Even though crab cakes will always be delicious to me, I do have one problem. I don’t always like how the meat gets mashed up into these stringy pieces, and even when the crab meat pieces are in nice chunks there’s that lack of freshness. So I decided to do this one a little differently, kind of separating all of the crab cake elements so that these huge, beautiful claws with meat inside can keep their form so it feels like I’m eating a real crab leg instead crab hash.
All of the classic elements of a crab cake are still here. The breadcrumbs, lemon, eggs..I’m using celery and shallots to flavor the crust..but there is one secret element that really makes this special…The website also sent a complimentary sauce along with the crabs that I was curious to try…
Today’s secret ingredient..the Persimmon. Yes, you wouldn’t believe it but it pairs so perfectly with these crab cakes. And it’s got a ton of Vitamin C which is good for you. And how did I get the idea to use it? It just happened to be in my fridge along with the clementines I’ve been meaning to eat, but I didn’t think clementines would work at all.
You really need some lemon for this, not only it’s juice but also it’s zest for the crust.
Finely chopped shallots, celery, and persimmon to flavor both the crab crust and the small salad to go with it.
I de boned the crab meat, and kept it in it’s whole shape. Don’t mash it up and turn it into a cake, just keep it whole so you can really appreciate it in it’s full form. Brush it generously with egg whites (this will help the crust stick onto your crab).
Shape the crust over the crab. Secrets here: the crust is mixed with those shallots, celery and persimmon I chopped earlier, but also with melted butter, white pepper, and egg whites (don’t use the yolk), and some of this stone crab sauce I got as a complimentary gift from the website…The egg whites are really the secret, because it creates this super stickiness that binds the crust so that it’s easier to not only shape it over the whole crab, but also because it’ll create a really hard crust when it’s baking in the oven.
To prepare the small salad, mixed all ingredients into a bowl, add a little squeezed lemon, olive oil and salt.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and hard.
Some hot melting butter with lemon juice and zest.
In food photography, steam shots are elusive. There was tons of steam from this because all of the moisture gets trapped inside due to the crust formation but I was too impatient to capture steam…I had to dig in..
I love to taste the fresh whole crab meat and crust separately..
You really need a salad with this, something fresh and tangy. It will balance out all that richness from the crab cake. Persimmon is so perfect with the crab cakes here..I never thought it would work out so well..but it’s got a little cinnamon-scented sweetness which I love.
Best part, these slightly burnt crusty mock crab claws..that you can eat. So salty and buttery. Thanks for reading, more soon.