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Individual Hot Crab Dip Bites
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.
Individual Hot Crab Dip Bites
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Hardcore Carnivore Amplify
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 1 lb lump crab meat
- 8 oz grated cheddar, gruyere or jack cheese
- 2 x 9" rolled pie crusts, defrosted
- 1 egg white
- Start by preparing the muffin pans. If you are not using a non-stick pan, you'll need to spray some oil in the bottom of each cup. Cut circles out of the pie crusts and gently press them into each cup OR, cut the pie crusts into thick strips, placing a piece at the bottom then a piece around the sides to form a wall, pressing the pieces together to seal them. This step may take a little while - it's ok if the tops of the muffing cups aren't even as long as you have a good seal on the inside.
- Lightly whisk the egg white with a fork until foamy, then use a pastry brush to brush a small amount of the egg white onto the inside of each pie crust cup. Make sure you coat the base and the sides - this will help to form a seal and prevent a soggy crust. Place the muffin pan back into the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat an oven to 400f.
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayo, old bay, Amplify, and mustard. Mix well to combine into a smooth paste.
- Add the lump crab and cream, and fold gently until mixed.
- Spoon the filling into each prepared cup, filling all the way to the top.
- Spread the cheese evenly over all the cups, then place into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Allow to cool slightly, then pop each cup out of the tray to serve.
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