Mille-feuille Stuffed with Crab

This is an attractive dish suitable for special buffet luncheon. If you wish to keep the dish for an hour or two after assembling it, coat just the sides with the Jellied Mayonnaise. Decorate the top with overlapping slices of cucumber and coat the whole with aspic which is just on the point of setting. The dish will then be fresh and moist to eat.

12 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

12 oz. unsalted butter

6 fl. oz. iced water

8 oz. crabmeat, shell and cartilage removed

15 fl. oz. bechamel sauce, chilled

4 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly whipped

1 tablespoon finely chopped cucumber

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

8 fl. oz. Jellied Mayonnaise

4 parsley sprigs

4 lemon slices, halved

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. With a table knife, cut 3 ounces of the butter into the flour. With your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Add the water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough to make it pliable and form it into a ball. Cover with greaseproof or waxed paper and place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

Put the remaining butter between two pieces of greaseproof or waxed paper and beat it with the back of a wooden spoon or a wooden mallet into a flat oblong about J-inch thick.

On a floured board, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape

½ inch thick.

Place the butter in the centre of the dough and fold the dough over it to make a parcel. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Place the dough, with the folds down-wards, on the board and roll it out away from you into a rectangle. Fold the rectangle in three. Turn so that the open end is facing you and roll out again. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding twice more.

Preheat the oven to hot 425°F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C).

With a sharp knife cut the dough into three pieces.

On a floured board roll out each piece of dough into a rectangle 4-inches wide and 12-inches long.

Wet a baking sheet with cold water. Lift one piece of dough on the rolling pin and lay it on the baking sheet. Prick it all over with a fork. Wrap the remaining two pieces of dough in greaseproof or waxed paper and return them to the refrigerator.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the pastry strip from the oven and transfer it carefully to a wire rack. Leave to cool. Bake the remaining two pieces of dough in the same way.

When the pastry strips are completely cold, place one on a serving dish.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the crabmeat, bechamel sauce, cream, cucumber, lemon rind and juice, salt and pepper. Spread half the filling over the strip of pastry on the serving dish. Cover the filling with another strip of pastry and cover this with the remaining filling. Place the remaining pastry strip on top.

Spread the top and sides of the millc-feuille with half of the jellied mayon-naise.

Place a j-inch nozzle in a forcing bag. Fill the forcing bag with the remaining mayonnaise and pipe a design along the edges of the millc-feuille. Garnish the mayonnaise with the parsley sprigs and lemon slices. Serve immediately.

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