Foie Gras, Apple and Goat Cheese Crème Brûlée
Perhaps the ultimate comfort food: Chef Starr creates savory goat cheese crème brûlée, studded with apples and foie gras. He suggests putting just a thin sugar crust on the brûlées, as they are savories, not sweets.
- Foie gras - 8 ounces, veins removed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Golden Delicious Apples - 3, skin on, cored and diced
- Shallots - 4 large, diced small
- Thyme Sprigs - 2, stemmed and chopped
- Parsley leaf - 1, minced
- Sage Leaf - 1, minced
- Calvados - 3 ounces
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 quart
- Egg Yolks - 9
- Goat Cheese - 7 ounces
- Thyme Sprigs - 1, stemmed and minced
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Water - 2 tablespoons
- Granny Smith apple - 1
- Mixed Organic Sprouts - 1 cup
- Reduced Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Toasted garlic - 24 slices, or olive bread (3 per)
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Slice eight 1/4-inch slices from the foie gras; dice the remaining foie gras. Wrap the slices and set aside. Season the diced foie gras with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron saute pan or skillet over high heat and sear the diced foie gras until browned, about 30 seconds, shaking the pan to brown all sides and prevent sticking. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a towel.
Put the pan back on the heat and add the apples. Cook over medium heat until the apples are translucent, then add the shallots and saute until all the fat has been absorbed by the apples and shallots. Add the herbs and cook 30 seconds. Add the Calvados, avert your face, and ignite, shaking the pan until the flames die down. Stir up the browned bits from the bottom. Set aside off the heat to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs and goat cheese. Mix until smooth. Stir in the cream, thyme, salt, and pepper. Set this custard mixture aside.
Remove the apples and shallots from the pan with a slotted spoon and spread in the bottom of eight 4-inch ramekins. Add the foie gras to the bottom of the ramekins. Pour the custard over the foie gras and apples, filling the ramekins 3/4 full. Place the ramekins in a deep baking pan and fill half way up the sides with hot water. Place in the oven and bake 45 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
To serve: Remove the custards from the refrigerator and let warm to room temperature. Preheat the broiler to high, if using. Top the custards with a thin layer of sugar and place under the broiler to melt and caramelize the sugar. Or, brown with a small kitchen torch.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and sear the reserved foie gras slices until lightly browned on each side. Drain on a towel. Mix the lemon juice and water. Slice the apple vertically into eighths. Brush with a little of the lemon mixture. Slice each eighth into very thin slices and fan on the top of the custards. Lean a slice of foie gras against the apple slices on each. Place a custard on each serving plate. Top with sprouts and drizzle each with a little reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish each plate with 3 slices of toasted garlic or olive bread.