Crab and asparagus puffs

Serves 6
150g white or a white and brown crab meat
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp fine dried breadcrumbs
150g asparagus spears
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
25g plain flour
150ml milk
salt and black pepper
⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
75ml double cream
2 eggs, separated

Butter six ramekin dishes well and coat with the dried breadcrumbs. Trim the asparagus spears and cut into 3cm lengths. Peel and chop the shallots. Chop the garlic.
Blanch asparagus for 2 mins in lightly salted boiling water and drain well.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 mins until softened. Add the flour and cook gently for 1 min. Remove from the heat and gradually beat in the milk. Return to the heat and cook over a low heat stirring constantly until thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Add the asparagus, then purée in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the cream and egg yolks, followed by the crab meat.
Whisk the egg whites until standing in stiff peaks. Fold one quarter of the beaten egg whites into the asparagus and crab mixture using a spatula or large metal spoon. Gently fold in the remaining egg white. Spoon into the prepared ramekin dishes. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven 200°C/gas mark 6 for 20-25 mins, until risen and golden.

Other crab recipes in our Jul/Aug 2015 issue:

• Crab and ginger tart
• Potted crab
• Crab stew
• Crab-stuffed courgette flowers