You can use fresh, frozen or canned crabmeat in this appetizer. Crab-flavored, flaked fish (surimi) makes a less expensive and tasty alternative to real crab meat.
Rinse artichokes under cold running water. Peel off and discard lower petals. Trim stem to one inch or less. Cut off the top 1-inch of artichoke. Trim leaf tips. Immediately rub the cut surfaces with a piece of lemon.
Cook, covered, in a large amount of boiling salted water for 20 to 30 minutes or until a leaf pulls out easily. Invert artichoke to drain.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together mayonnaise or salad dressing, sour cream, 2/3 cup of the flaked crabmeat, the dillweed, onion, lime peel, lime juice, hot pepper sauce, and ground red pepper, if desired; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle dip with reserved crabmeat. Serve with warm or chilled artichokes. Makes about 1-1/2 cups (twenty-four 1-tablespoon servings).
Up to 24 hours ahead, prepare artichokes; cover and chill. Prepare dip. Cover and chill.