There are few better pairings than pâté and baguette. These crunchy croûtes provide textural contrast to the creamy pâté, but if you prefer fresh baguette, go for it.
- 270 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 750 gm duck livers, cleaned, sinew and bitter green patches removed
- 1½ lightly beaten eggs
- 110 ml pouring cream
- 300 ml Port
- 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 4 black peppercorns
- 3 titanium-strength gelatine leaves
- 400 ml Port
- 250 gm baguette, preferably sourdough, thinly sliced
- For brushing: olive oil
- 1Preheat oven to 160C. For Port reduction, boil all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat without stirring until syrupy and reduced to 2 tbsp (10-15 minutes). Remove thyme and peppercorns (discard) and pour reduction immediately into a blender.
- 2Melt butter gently in a wide saucepan over low heat, add livers and turn occasionally until just opaque and half-cooked (5-10 minutes), then transfer to a blender with Port reduction and eggs, season well with sea salt flakes and blend until smooth. Add cream and pulse to combine, then strain through a fine sieve.
- 3Pour liver mixture into a buttered 1.5-litre pâté dish, cover tightly with a lid or foil, place in a roasting pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides and bake until pâté is just set (35-40 minutes). Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
- 4Meanwhile, for Port jelly, soften gelatine in 100 ml Port (3-5 minutes). Gently bring remaining Port to the simmer over medium heat, add gelatine mixture and stir to dissolve. Cool then pour over pâté and refrigerate for a further 1-2 hours until jelly and pâté are chilled and set.
- 5For croûtes, preheat oven to 180C. Brush baguette slices with olive oil, then bake, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (5-10 mins). Serve at room temperature with pâté.