1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup water
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
DEVILED CRAB FILLING :
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3 large eggs (room temperature)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
2 tablespoons dry sherry wine
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
4 scallions (finely chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
2 fresno chili peppers (finely chopped)
1/2 cup buttery round crackers (crumbled)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
For the Pie Crust: In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the water. Refrigerate until very cold, about 30 minutes. During that time, refrigerate the butter, flour, large mixing bowl, and paddle attachment.
In the chilled large mixing bowl, combine the cold butter and flour. With your hands, toss the butter in the flour until each cube is lightly coated.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the chilled paddle attachment, add the butter mixture and mix on low speed to break up the butter, about 30 seconds. Add the water mixture and raise the speed to medium-low. Beat until the dough comes together in big chunks, then turn off the mixer.
Divide the chunks of dough in half and very gently pat each group into a round 1-inch thick disk. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, before rolling. You can refrigerate the disks for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months.
For the Deviled Crab Filling: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Onto a floured surface, place the pie dough and roll out until 1/4-inch thick. Press dough into an 11-inch tart pan, prick the bottom with the prongs of a fork. Line tart shell with parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, eggs, melted butter, sherry, zest and juice of a lemon, cayenne pepper, Creole seasoning, and paprika. Add the lump crab meat, scallions, parsley, and fresno chili and stir to combine, being careful not to break up the lumps of crab. Season with salt and pepper.
Into the par-baked tart shell, add the deviled crab mixture. Top with butter crackers. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown on top. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, and slice into 8 wedges.
Tip: Par-baking the tart shell is key to keeping the crust crisp rather than soggy.