Creamy, seasoned lump crab meat is baked to bubbly perfection in individual savory pie crust cups.
Im going to say it. This recipe for individual hot crab dip cups made in a muffin pan is far superior to the regular ol’ skillet version. Here’s why:
1) The crisp and buttery pie crust is more delicious than any dry saltine could ever be.
2) It does away with the communal aspect of wondering who double dipped into the crab, and exactly how many other people have been prodding at the same appetizer…
3) It’s MUCH more leftover friendly and the cups easily refrigerate, unlike your cheese-crusted skillet.
Really, you don’t need ANY reason to make these. You have my assurance that they are every bit as good as they look/sound/appear. In the interest of full transparency – I will admit two things. FIRST – working with the pastry is slightly fiddly. I gave up on trying to cut the perfect sized circle to fit EXACTLY into the muffin pan, Instead, I cut the pie crusts into thick strips, and lay one piece at the bottom of each cup, then build a pastry wall at the sides, and pressed them altogether. Since I refrigerated the pastry again before I filled it, it was ok that it had softened a little.
The second admission is that this recipe makes SLIGHTLY too much filling to fit into a 12 cup muffin pan (like, maybe 3/4 cup extra) but that’s nearly impossible to avoid, since all of these ingredients usually come in these minimum quantities. The solution? Grab a small ramekin or tiny skillet and bake it just like regular dip, OR, freeze it and bake it later for a supremely indulgent snack.
One of the other secrets to a really sensational crab dip is a little magic weapon called Hardcore Carnivore Amplify. It’s a special seasoning that is more of a flavoring than a spice. Amplify is a mega-umami flavor bomb of savory goodness, that is still very neutral in taste. It’s packed with umami ingredients which give dips a boost of “I’m not exactly sure what that flavor is, but it’s AWESOME”. If course, you could leave it out, but after that description, why would you?
The other secret is to try to use great quality crab. Really, that goes for all ingredients. If you’ve even tried to use the cheapest shredded cheese then finally shelled out for the pricier stuff, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I get my crab from Fulton Fish Market who can ship nationwide.
The final trick to this recipe is the use of heavy whipping cream. Since the pastry needs a solid 25 minutes to brown, there’s a risk the filling will get to dry. Adding in pure cream keeps the middle of the cups nice and gooey.Print