Crabbies are a tasty creation which, throughout my childhood, my family always served on special occasions or holidays, particularly during the winter months. They are sort of like a deconstructed crab dip, spread on a tangy english muffin and toasted to perfection. Crabbies are classic, cozy, and old-fashioned.
As a child, I remember visiting a B&B in Spring Lake, NJ, sitting down with the proprietors in front of a crackling fire, and being served crabbies. They also served classic popcorn tins which are, in my opinion, one of the most festive winter delights.
My aunt traditionally made crabbies using a soft cheese spread, but my recipe uses cream cheese infused with crushed red pepper to add creaminess and spice.
Serve these delights for a romantic date or as a delectable party snack. I promise, crabbies will never disappoint!
- 8 ounces / 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 10 english muffins, split with a fork
- ½ pound lump crab meat
Using a food processor or electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese. Add crushed red pepper. Pulse until the mixture becomes a spreadable paste, much like typical cream cheese but now infused with cheddar. Set aside.
Toast english muffin halves in batches of 2-4 depending on the side of your toaster (if you do not have a toaster, toast them on the rack in the oven at 350°F) and spread with cheese mixture. Top with crab meat and shredded cheddar cheese.
Place all 20 prepared crabbies on a sheet pan and put in freezer. Freeze for at least 1 hour. These will last in the freezer for up to two weeks, so feel free to do this ahead of time.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 300°F. bake for 20 minutes. Turn on oven broiler and broil for 6 minutes, rotating the pan 180° every 2 minutes so ensure each crabbie is evenly browned. Serve whole or cut in quarters.