Matt Tebbutt’s crab scones with apple and fennel salad recipe

Brown crabmeat is often overlooked but this is where all the best flavour is. These scones are a doddle to make and are pretty impressive as a snack or starter. Double up the ingredients if you’re going to make them, because they won’t last long!

Chris Terry


360g plain flour
10g baking powder
100g cold salted butter, cut into cubes
40g strong Cheddar, grated
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
Zest of 1 lemon
100g brown crabmeat
170ml whole milk
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g salted butter, softened, to serve


1/2 fennel bulb with fronds, thinly sliced
1/2 green apple, thinly sliced
2 tbsp white crabmeat
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Pinch of caster sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp torn dill or chervil

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Briefly blitz the flour, baking powder and butter in a food processor to create a breadcrumb texture. Or, to make it by hand, put the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour and baking powder.
  3. If using a processor, tip the mixture into a large bowl. Add the cheese, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, lemon zest and crabmeat and form a dough by mixing well while slowly adding the milk. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Roll out or press the dough with your hands to a 2.5cm thickness and use a 6cm cutter to cut out about 8 rounds. Put on the lined baking tray, brush with the beaten egg and bake for 10–15 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the salad, toss together the sliced fennel, apple and crabmeat in a bowl with a pinch of salt.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil and lemon juice.
  7. Just before serving add the dressing to the salad and mix gently to coat. Sprinkle with the dill or chervil. Serve the warm scones with plenty of butter, with the salad alongside.

Now buy Matt’s book

matt tebbutt weekend
by Matt Tebbutt will be published by Quadrille on 11 November, price £22. To pre-order a copy for £18.70 until 25 November, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.