(serves 5-6 )
This is a sinfully delicious appetizer which uses foie gras suspended in a creamy egg custard. It is a good alternative to pan fried foie gras but is easier to perfect every time. Foie gras is often accompanied by cooked fruits to provide a good contrast and in this recipe I will be using an orange and date chutney for this purpose.
- Goose Liver Pâté (250g)
- Eggs (4)
- Cream (1 cup)
- Orange (1)
- Large Dried Dates (4)
- Butter (30g)
- Grand Marnier
- Cinnamon powder
- Coriander seed powder
Preparation – Custard
- The first step is to buy the right Pâté – see my notes below.
- While the pâté is still cold, cut away and discard the layer of lard (this is how you know its ‘real’ pâté by the way). Cut into small cubes and leave to warm to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, mix the warmed pâté with 1 cup of cream, 3T of Port (or other fortified wine like Madeira), 0.5t of salt, 1t of crushed corainder seed, 1t of sugar and 1t of black pepper .
- In addition, add to the bowl 4 egg yolks and 2 egg whites (you won’t be needing the other 2 whites) and put the entire mixture through a food processor on high speed until the pâté disappears.
- Preheat your oven to 135oC (275oF) and put some water to boil.
- Spoon the custard into ramekins through a strainer, this will give you a smoother finish. Cover each ramekin with tin foil as tightly as you can, this will prevent condensation from marring the complexion of your custard.
- Arrange the ramekins into a (or two) pyrex casserole dish and place into the oven. Using a pitcher, pour the boiling water into the casserole dish until it is half full. Bake for 1 hour. Serve in the ramekins, either straight out of the oven or refrigerated.
Preparation – Chutney
- While the baking take place, de-seed your dates and cut them into about 24 tiny pieces each.
- Squeeze the juice of your orange into a cup and using a spoon, scoop out all the remaining pulp (minus the membranes where possible).
- In a frying pan, melt a large knob of butter and stir fry the dates in the butter for a minute or so. Then pour in the orange juice and pulp and add a pinch of cardamon. Continue to simmer under a low flame. Break up any large chunks of orange pulp.
- When the juice thickens, add 2T of Grand Marnier (or Cointreau) and turn the heat off after fifteen seconds. Sprinkle in 1t of cinnamon powder and remove the chutney to a bowl where it can cool and thicken further.
- It doesn’t matter if the foie gras custard is being served hot or cold, serve the chutney at room temperature.
- Most recipes I have come across specify actual pieces of foie gras but I prefer pâté (sometimes called parfaits) as the fat has been distilled out (see picture?) and the liver is already thoroughly infused with the natural sweetness of sauternes. It is important that you use ‘fresh’ pâté from the deli counter and not canned liver pâté (chicken/pork) like I suggested in these previous recipes:Liver Pâté Soufflé and Deluxe Stuffing.
- If cost is a concern, it is ok to use duck liver pâté instead of goose, it won’t officially be foie gras anymore but it will work. Don’t use liver mousse. It looks similar to pâté but contains only 50% liver instead of the mandatory 75%.
- Oh you may have noticed I didn’t actually brulee my custard. You can do this if you wish but I find the chutney povides enough sweetness by itself. Sprinkle sugar over the ramekins after they have cooled, flip each over for a second so excess sugar falls off and then melt the sugar with a cigar torch which you move frequently to prevent over charring. The melted sugar will solidify into a clear coating.
- If Foie Gras is your thing, check out my Pan Fried Foie Gras and Foie Gras in Orange Reduction Amuse-Bouche as well.