Blue Crab Beignets

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The beignet batter thinly coats a creamy, warm crab filling with a crispy, light crust. The batter is loose and can be tricky to shape at first; keep frying and practicing, and they'll improve with each batch.These are ideally eaten while still very hot, so make them while enjoying aperitifs in the kitchen.

Blue Crab Beignets
Photo: Greg DuPree
Total Time:
30 mins
Yield:
6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces fresh blue crabmeat, picked over (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

  • 1/2 small (1 ounce) shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 ounces)

  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (about 1 1/2 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) amber lager beer

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Gently stir together crabmeat, mascarpone, shallot, chives, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl until combined. Chill until ready to use.

  2. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in beer until just blended (batter will be thick).

  3. Pour oil to a depth of at least 3 inches into a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Heat over medium-high to 375°F. Line a plate with paper towels.

  4. Roll 1 heaping tablespoon crab mixture into a loose ball; drop into batter in bowl. Spoon batter over ball to coat evenly. Lift ball from batter using spoon, trying to collect as much batter on spoon with ball as possible. Gently slide the beignet into hot oil from just above the surface. Repeat process with about 2 or 3 additional beignets, making sure not to overcrowd Dutch oven. Fry, turning occasionally, until crisp and deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beignets to paper towel–lined plate; season with salt. Repeat process with remaining crab mixture and batter, letting oil return to 375°F between batches. Serve hot.

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