Shrimp and Crab Meat Beggar’s Purse

Tucked into a puffed pastry, this shrimp and crab meat Beggar’s Purse is the perfect dish for a Sunday brunch, wedding, or baby shower. You can fill it with whatever you like, but this one is filled with shrimp, crab meat and a savory wine cheese sauce that will impress.


beggar's purse

Shrimp and Crab Beggar's Purse
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Puffed pastry filled with fresh shrimp, lump crab meat and a savory wine cheese sauce!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, International
Servings: 8 Beggar's Purses
Author: SmartyPantsKitchen
  • 1/2 lb. fresh shrimp shell on
  • 6-8 oz. fresh lump crab drained
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pastry Preparation
  • 1 box puffed pastry (two sheets)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup flour flour surface
Filling Instructions
  1. Bring 6 cups water to boil; add shrimp (with shells on); cook for five minutes or until shrimp are bright pink

  2. Remove shrimp; allow to cool; peel and devein

  3. Place drained crab meat, shrimp, scallions and celery in food processor and pulse to a fine consistency; add 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon pepper; juice from 1/2 lemon; set aside

Sauce Instruction
  1. Whisk together milk and cornstarch; add wine to saucepan and bring to boil until it has reduced to about 1 tablespoon

  2. Stir cornstarch/milk mixture into saucepan with wine

  3. Add heavy cream; stirring constantly, bring to boil

  4. Add cheese and vinegar to cream mixture, stirring constantly until cheese has melted 

  5. Add one cup of sauce to shrimp/crab meat mixture; combine well; set aside

Beggar's Purse Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF

  2. On a floured surface, roll puffed pastry out; cut into quarters; using a rolling pin, lightly roll dough out until it has expanded about 1/2 inch all the way around

  3. Place 1/3 cup of shrimp/crab mixture in center of dough;

  4. Pull corners up and tuck in sides, pinching dough to make a "neck" for the purse; secure neck with a strand of scallion or chive

  5. Place purses on baking sheet lined with parchment paper

  6. Lightly beat egg and add 1 teaspoon water to egg

  7. With a pastry brush, coat each purse with egg wash

  8. Bake for 40 minutes

  9. Re-heat cheese sauce; plate pastry and drizzle with warm sauce

Recipe Notes
  • This recipe calls for a dry, white wine, however, you can substitute clam juice for the wine if you prefer
  • Serve this savory Beggar's Purse with fresh fruit, or a simple green salad