Olney Inn Imperial Crab

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins

The Maryland Olney Inn opened in 1926 in Mechanicsberg, MD, (now Olney, MD) in the Farquhar home, with 3 tables. It soon became "the place to go" and was frequented by FDR. It burned in 1978 in spite of 18 pieces of equipment and more than 100 firefighters. This recipe is simple, elegant and delicious. Our traditional Christmas Eve family dinner.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place crabmeat in large bowl, after removal of cartilage and shell.
  2. Mix mayonnaise, pimento, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and Tabasco together.
  3. Pour over crabmeat and toss GENTLY, not to break lumps.
  4. Divide crabmeat between 8 shell-shaped baking dishes.
  5. Top each shell with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.
  6. Sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Place baking shells on shallow baking pan (jelly roll type).
  8. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.
  9. Garnish with sprig of parsley, or cross 2 strips of pimento.
Most Helpful

Any recipe from Janey, Maryland, Mechanicsberg, old home-steads, and crab is a winner here on the farm! I followed this exactly, and it was everything one could ask for. In the photo, I have it served and set upon a toasted patty shell, with some fresh green surrounding it. A dollop of tarter tops this off, and it was devoured in ...well...seconds. I used fresh picked (by me) Maryland Blue crab meat from steamed crabs, and it was the highlight of my day. Thanks for posting such a lovely recipe with such historical reference. Made for Games Buffet, 2011

Andi of Longmeadow Farm July 19, 2011

Thanks so much for this recipe! I've lived in the Olney are all my life and remember well the day the old Inn burned to the ground. This is exactly my mother's recipe. She passed away many years ago and the recipe was lost. I can't wait to try this.

grammasharebear January 05, 2010

What a find Janey darlink! I was thrilled with this simple recipe, and yet the results were so impressive, that anyone would think I had slaved in the kitchen! I loved the historical aspect to this recipe, and this is going on my appetiser recipe list for dinner parties and special events! I cut the recipe back to half, for the two of us, and we ate it with salad and French bread for a light supper on the garden terrace, with chilled Chablis wine. A delightful find........I am so pleased to have this recipe now! Made for Aus/NZ Recipe Swap #31 and THOROUGHLY enjoyed! FT :-)

French Tart August 21, 2009