Our 2011 Christmas dinner:
- Crème brûlée foie gras (this post)
- Polish borcht (somewhere in the future post)
- Grapefruit granita (following post)
- Pork belly with special mashed potatoes (following post)
- Pistachio cake with lemon curd and coconut tuile (the following-following post)
Crème brûlée foie gras– !!
- 300gr foie gras (goose liver) cut to medium size chunks
- 700ml heavy cream
- 6 eggs
- salt and pepper
- sugar and a burner
We used frozen goose liver for this dish, it worked perfectly. We thawed it over night in the refrigerator and then let reach room temp for a couple of hours. If you use frozen goose liver please thaw it properly.
For the crème brûlée you will need to heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. Turn of the stove and add the foie gras. Stir until the foie gras dissolves in the cream, add the eggs, stir some more. Some (not a lot) parts of the liver (like the outer layer) will not dissolve and that is okay, because now you need to strain the cream and liver mix, and season with S&P. The mixture comes out totally fluid at this point, and that is also okay-it will set in the oven.
Put the mixture in crème brûlée dishes, in a larger pan filled with water (ban marie). Fill 3/4 of each dish with the Crème brûlée base and put in an oven preheated to 140-150 C, for 30-50 min or until the mixture just sets. Be careful with the baking- make sure you take the cremes out of the oven when they are just about to set and leave outside the oven in the ban marie to cool. If it is not set (i.e. it is still fluid) bake longer, and longer until it is ready. If you took the dishes out too early and it is not set- bake it again. Don’t eat fluid cream-foie gras it is not meant for drinking. After the crème brûlées are set and at room temperature put them in the fridge for at least 4 hours before you serve. Make sure that after 4H fridge there is no liquid in the center (if it is, bake some more and re-cool).If you think you took the cremes out of the oven a little late put them straight away in the fridge, without the water in which they were baked (the ban marie). If they dry too much you will get a little ‘eggy’ and stiff crème brûlée, and unfortunately you cannot undo it…
This dish can be made several days in advance, even a week, up to this point.
To serve, sprinkle a nice -unified but thin -layer of sugar (preferably light brown, but white is also okay) and burn with a burner. You can also oven under the grill, which is less recommended, but totally reasonable of you don’t have a kitchen burner , like most normal people. Just put the dishes close under a very hot top-grill in the oven until the sugar caramelizes- and try to make sure it caramelizes fast . When you burn the sugar don’t be too scared and burn it good and fast. If you melt the sugar from too far (and don’t caramelize it ‘aggressively’ enough) you will heat the crème brûlée underneath (which you don’t want) and you might also get some ‘eggy’ texture and taste under the sugar. Serve the crème brûlée right away.
Comments and commentaries:
- This dish is highly recommended. We first ate it in Milan as a ‘canape’, or appetizer, two years ago. I’ve been wanting to make it ever since, and now that I have I can say- it is just as amazing as I remembered it. Do a favor to yourselves and try it too.
- Don’t forget to plan ahead with this dish- it needs its cooling time.
- Note that you need special dishes that fit the oven. You may use bowls, soufle or brulee dishes as you wish, but I do not recommend using one large dish for everyone because creme brulee does not work so well with dividing (though it is possible if there is no other choice, just prolong baking time accordingly).
- This dish is, obviously, rather heavy, so make small portions.
- I thought about doing this dish with chicken liver, but didn’t find any recipes for such a thing, which made me think I shouldn’t do it with chicken liver, probably doesn’t taste good.
- In Israel you can find frozen goose liver in many places, we got ours at ‘Zalman’ on Jerusalem avenue in Jaffa. I also saw ‘Abu Hilue’ on Yeffet street has it.
- Ho-ho-ho and marry Christmas!