Lobster Pie With Cracker Crumb Topping


What better way to start the week than with a nicely chilled glass of Vouvray and a New England classic lobster pie?

In truth, the nice folk at Yankee Magazine, where I came across the original recipe, seem to swing between calling this a pie and a casserole, but, no matter, by any name, it is wicked tasty.

The most difficult part of this recipe may

very well be the cost of the lobster – which came in at around $20 for the frozen lobster pieces I picked up from Whole Foods; but, as you can see, it was a pretty well-spent $20, with a goodly amount of meaty pieces.

Still, I suppose you could swap out shrimp, or even langostinos, for the lobster, and still wind up with a lovely, satisfying meal.

•1/2 cup finely crushed Ritz crackers
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
•2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
•4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

•8 tbsp (1 stick) salted butter, divided
•1/2 cup good-quality dry sherry
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•2 cups chopped lobster meat
•2 tbsp all-purpose flour
•1-1/2 cups half-and-half
•4 large egg yolks
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce, or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1 tbsp lemon juice

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a small bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, paprika, and cheese. Stir in the melted butter until evenly mixed, then set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt three tablespoons butter. Add the sherry and Sherry Peppers Sauce and boil for one minute. Stir in the lobster, stir, then remove from heat, draining the sherry and pan juices (save these, though).

In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the remaining five tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for a minute or two. Remove from heat.

Slowly whisk the sherry mixture into the butter and flour mixture along with the half and half, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Return to heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce is smooth and nicely thickened.

Spoon four tablespoons of the warm sauce into a small bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Whisk the now tempered egg mixture to the sauce pan and mix well. Stir over low heat for three minutes; but don’t let it boil.

Remove from heat, add the lobster meat, then transfer into four ramekins or a gratin dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top, then bake in the oven on the middle rack until golden brown, 10-15 minutes.

Serve warm.

I chose to do my pie in a smallish (two quart) casserole, then served it over fresh from the oven biscuits.

And, of course, that nicely chilled bottle of Vouvray, which really does seem to be the perfect wine for this pie.

Such a nicely satisfying dinner.

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