Foie gras with fig tart

foie gras with fig tart

and crispy shallot


4 x 50g slices of foie gras

200g frozen puff pastry

flour for dusting, and coating shallots

4 fresh figs

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp sherry vinegar

2 shallots

about 500ml sunflower oil, for deep-frying

rock salt

mustard cress

Serves 4

What to do

Keep the foie gras in the fridge until needed. Leave the pastry to defrost at room temperature to 1 hour. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll the pastry gently on a very lightly floured surface and cut into 4×8-10 cm squares. Place on the baking sheet, score each square with a sharp knife and bake for 7-10 minutes. When ready, remove and set aside.

Top and tail the figs. Slice into discs and arrange on the top of the pre-cooked pastry in flower shapes. Mix the sugar and sherry vinegar and sprinkle over the figs – this will draw the flavour out.

Heat a frying pan on the cooker until smoking. Remove the foie gras slices from the fridge and place on the frying pan – foie gras does not need oil for frying as it is 90% fat. Fry until golden brown on one side (approx. 10 seconds), then turn over and repeat. Remove the foie gras and place on top of the fig tarts. Heat in the oven for 2-3 minutes.

Finely slice the shallots into rings. Coat them with flour and deep-fry in 3-4cm sunflower oil until golden brown. Remove the tarts from the oven. Season the foie gras with rock salt and arrange the shallots neatly on top. Garnish with mustard cress.

A note for the cook

You can buy pre-sliced foie gras from the freezer section of good supermarkets. If you are slicing it yourself, chill the foie gras first and use a very sharp knife.

A wine that works

A classic accompaniment to foie gras is Sauternes, one of the sweet wines of Bordeaux. While many Sauternes are expensive (often justifiably so, due to the rigours of harvesting the botrytis-affected grapes) an easy way of enjoying these styles of wine is to buy them in the half bottle. A good example of Sauternes is Chateau Laville (available in half bottles), made by Jeai-Owistophe Barbe.

It may take six passes through the vineyard to get the grapes he wants and the resulting wine has a lovely intensity of sweet fruit but shows a fresh acidity that carries the richness of the footf.

Tip: try your Sauternes with an oriental dish that has a little ginger.

Also try

Domaine Weinbach Tokay Pinot Gris ‘Cuvee Laurence’ from Alsace.

If you are interested in learning how to cook starters like this one and more recipes the ely way, consider booking a place on our Cookery Courses beginning in January.


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