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Crab Cheesecake

This recipe is credited to Phyllis Murphy of Cambridge, Maryland and was the Grand Prize Winner in the 1985 National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Maryland.

Make cracker crust to line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
3 tablespoons melted butter

Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Set aside to cool.

Set oven to 325 degrees F.

To make filling, use electric mixer to beat until fluffy:

16 ounces cream cheese
3 medium eggs
1/4 cup sour cream

Add to the mixture:

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 drop Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Stir in 1 cup backfin crab meat. Pick it over well, shredding it while removing the shell. Mix well. Pour into cooled crust. Bake 50 minutes at 325 degrees F until cake is set.

Remove from oven. Run knife around edge of cake, loosening it from side of pan. Cool on wire rack.

Remove sides of pan. Spread the cake with 1/2 cup sour cream.

This cake is a versatile dish. Serve it warm for brunch to six people. When cold, serve it with crackers as a canap