2 ratings

Partan Pie With Apple and Avocado Slaw

Explore the Scottish culture with this delicious partan pie dish by chef Shirley Spear

With more than 11 million North Americans claiming Scottish heritage, ancestry enthusiasts of all kinds are invited to explore their "Scot Story" through their love of food with easy-to-make recipes created by chef Shirley Spearowner and retired head chef of the award-winning Three Chimneys restaurant. Inspired by the stunning landscapes and the diverse culture of the people in the region, the following dish serves as a true testament to connecting food with heritage. 

Photo and recipe courtesy of Chef Shirley Spear

Click here for the 5 Amazing Scottish Snacks You Never Knew Existed.


Partan Pie

  • 250 Grams mixed brown and white crabmeat
  • 75 Grams fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard (or similar)
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice from same lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons cream sherry
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 50 Grams butter
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • A few twists of ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese or mature Scottish cheddar
  • For serving, 3 or 4 crab shells approximately 15cms - 18cms wide OR gratin dishes of your choice

Apple and Avocado Slaw

  • 1 Large carrot, washed and peeled
  • 1 Red-skinned apple washed, cut into quarters and core removed
  • 1/2 Small red onion, peeled and cut into thin rings
  • 2 Small or 1 large spring onion sliced finely, including the green top
  • 2 Medium, ripe avocados (Hass variety is usually the best)
  • 2 Tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • A handful of flat parsley leaves
  • 1/2 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste


Partan Pie

Place the crabmeat in a mixing bowl. Check for any fragments of shell.

Set aside two tablespoons of breadcrumbs and mix the remaining breadcrumbs together with all the other ingredients (minus the cheese and butter) into the crabmeat. Check seasoning to suit your taste.

Brush the insides of the empty crab shells with a little vegetable or olive oil and pack the crabmeat loosely inside each one to fill.

Mix the remaining two tablespoons of breadcrumbs with the cheese and sprinkle over the top of the crabmeat. Place half a dozen dots of butter on top of the breadcrumbs in each shell.

Place the filled shells on a baking tray in the centre of a moderately hot oven (392°F) and heat thoroughly. The topping should be toasted brown and crispy. Alternatively, you could pack the crabmeat mixture into individual ramekins, or one large gratin dish and sprinkle the cheesy breadcrumbs over the top before placing in the oven to bake.

Serve with fresh salad, such as apple and avocado slaw (recipe below), or with hot creamed spinach flavored with a little grated nutmeg, for a lunch or a supper dish.

Smaller portions can also be served as a starter for dinner.

Apple and Avocado Slaw

Using the large side of a grater, grate the carrot into a mixing bowl.

Remove the skin from 3/4 of the apple and grate into the carrot.

Chop the remaining 1/4 of the apple, leaving the skin in place, into small thin slices through the short side and add to the bowl.

Cut the avocados into quarters and remove the large stone. Peel the skin from each quarter, in one movement, from the narrow top end to the thicker base.

Set aside two of the quarters to make the dressing and chop the remaining six pieces into small bite-size chunks and add to the bowl.

Add the sliced red onion and spring onion, plus the leaves of flat parsley. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice and gently mix all the ingredients together.

For the dressing, place the yogurt, mayonnaise and remaining lemon juice into a mixing bowl, or a food processor or blender. Cut the remaining avocado pieces into small chunks and add to dressing. Mash together with a fork, or blend together in the processor, until smooth. Add the parsley, chives, cayenne, plus salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the prepared salad ingredients and combine together well.

Check seasoning, cover and refrigerate before serving with the baked partan pie.