A store-bought crab soup base intensifies the flavor of the creamy filling in these puff pastry-topped pies.
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp. crab soup base
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 1/8" cubes
- 1 small new potato, peeled and cut into 1/8" cubes
- 1⁄3 cup frozen peas
- 12 pearl onions, peeled
- 1 large button mushroom, stemmed and minced
- 1 small rib celery, minced
- 1⁄4 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 10 oz. stone, jonah, or jumbo lump crab meat
- 1 9" x 11" sheet store-bought frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Paprika, to garnish
Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, 1–2 minutes. Add cream, milk, and crab soup base and bring to a simmer; cook, whisking often, until smooth and thick, 3–4 minutes. Season cream sauce with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp. butter in a 10" skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and potatoes and cook, stirring often, until just soft, 4–5 minutes. Add peas, onions, mushrooms, celery, and bell peppers and cook until hot, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, gently stir in reserved cream sauce and the crab meat, and season with salt and pepper. Divide crab mixture, mounding if necessary to fit, between two 4 1⁄2"-diameter, 10-oz. ovenproof ramekins or mini pie pans; set aside.
Heat oven to 350°. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out puff pastry to 1⁄4" thickness; using a 6" round cutter, cut out 2 pastry rounds and place 1 on top of each ramekin, sealing edges around rims of ramekins. Transfer pies to an aluminum foil–lined baking sheet, and poke a small hole in the top of each pastry with a knife. Melt and brush remaining butter over pastry and sprinkle with paprika. Bake until golden brown, 35–40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.