Crab Pithivier with Scallop Frangipane

Perfect for a dinner party or any sort of special occasion, this stunning dish from Angie Mar is a project that's well worth your time. The crab and scallops lend a delicate sweetness, and the sherry sauce brings nuttiness and brightness. Almond flour is essential, as it holds the filling together and gives it texture.

Crab Pithiviers with Scallop Frangipane
Photo: Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs


  • 2 (14-oz.) pkg. frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed (like Dufour)

Scallop Frangipane

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (130g)

  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar (15g)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt (5g)

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • .33333 pound bay scallops, adductor muscle removed (160g)

  • ¼ cup heavy cream (50g)

  • ¼ vanilla bean, seeds scraped (pod reserved for another use)

  • ½ teaspoon finely ground white pepper (1g)

  • 1 cup finely ground, bleached almond flour (85g)

  • .33333 cup all-purpose flour (40g, 1.4 ounces), plus more for surface

  • 1 pound picked crab claw meat, or lump crabmeat (460g) (if cooking and picking your own crab, reserve the shells for the sauce)

  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • Reserved crab shells from crabmeat, or shells from 1/4 pound extra-large shrimp shells, shrimp meat reserved for another use

  • 3 tablespoons brandy (50g)

  • 4 cups veal stock (homemade or store-bought) (990g)

  • ½ cup good-quality oloroso sherry (125g)

  • Healthy pat of good-quality cultured butter, such as Beurre de Baratte (about 2 tablespoons)

  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll each sheet of puff pastry to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a ruler, pencil, and paper, trace a 4 1/2-inch round and a 6 1/4-inch round—cut out and use as guides for cutting pastry. You'll need 4 (4 1/2-inch) pastry rounds and 4 (6 1/4-inch) pastry rounds. Place pastry rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the filling.

    Prepare Scallop Frangipane

  2. Beat butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until it doubles in size, about 3 minutes. Transfer butter mixture to a food processor and add egg yolk, scallops, heavy cream, vanilla seeds, and white pepper; blend until smooth, scrape down the bowl twice, about 2 minutes. Add almond flour and all-purpose flour and combine until smooth, scraping down the bowl twice, about 1 minute. Transfer to the medium bowl, and very gently fold in the crab meat. Try not to break up the crab—the goal is to have gorgeous crabmeat bound together by the frangipane.

  3. Once the crab is incorporated, divide the mixture into four loose balls, and refrigerate until the mixture firms up just a bit, about 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place all four of the 4 1/2-inch pastry circles on individual squares of parchment paper, about 1 inch larger than the pastry itself. Prick gently with a fork all over to prevent the pastry from rising unevenly. Working quickly, so as not to melt the frangipane, form the (about 1 cup frangipane per ball) balls into as even and smooth a ball as possible, placing in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1/3-inch border. Score the border of the pastry with the broad side of a fork and brush lightly with egg wash.

  5. Lay the larger, 6 1/4-inch pastry round over top of the frangipane, gently smoothing out any lumps and bumps. Line up the rim of the top layer of pastry with the bottom layer, and lightly prick the top layer of the rim with a fork to ensure the edge will rise evenly. Gently press to seal the top layer and the bottom layer all around. Repeat with the remaining pithiviers.

  6. Brush the pithiviers with the beaten egg, making sure to seal the sides where the pastry rounds meet. At this point, run your fingers around the side of the pastry once it's egg washed to even out where the edges meet, and help to seal the edges. Working from the center of the pastry out, lightly score the top and sides of the pastry with the edge of a spoon held at a 45-degree angle to create a pinwheel pattern.

  7. Let the pithiviers rest at room temperature until the first egg wash is a bit tacky, about 15 minutes, and then brush with egg wash once more. Let them rest for another 10 minutes, to let the second coat of egg wash set, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake until golden brown, rotating the baking sheet once or twice during the baking process, 35 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce

  1. Dry roast the crab or shrimp shells in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until blistered and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Deglaze with the brandy. Add the veal stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until liquid is reduced by two thirds, about 33 minutes (should have 1 1/3 cups liquid). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan, pressing the shells to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard shells. Set the saucepan with the sauce base aside until the pithiviers are ready to serve.

  2. Once the pithiviers come out of the oven, we can finish our sauce. Bring the sauce base to a boil over high heat. Add the sherry and reduce until it lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 12 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Remove from heat and add the butter and swirl to incorporate, adding gloss and thickness. Plate each pithivier and surround generously with the sauce. Serve immediately.

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