Friday, January 14, 2011

Foie Gras Brulee in Apple with Sauternes & Lambic Gel

"You had me at Foie Gras"

Unhealthy - Yes, politically incorrect - Yes, absolutely delicious - Yes

I know foie gras is not produced in what many would consider an ethical way. It is however very tasty and not widely available in Australia. To my surprise my local deli was selling tins of Canard foie gras at the reasonable price of $20 per 65g tin.

Having acquired such a luxury ingredient, the next challenge becomes, what do you do with it? You could simply eat it out of the tin and that would be perfectly acceptable, however, I decided the more appropriate course of action was to draw upon some Michelin star inspiration.


A few years ago I had my finest meal ever at Restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian. I suspect a lot of people’s finest meal ever is Restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian and with good reason, it is one of the best restaurants in the world with 3 Michelin stars and has been in the top 10 restaurants in the world forever.

The dish I decided to pay homage to is their foie gras appetiser which was foie gras in apple, caramelised with a brulee coating and served with some decorative garnish that a few years on I can’t quite remember what it was.

Taking the influence from this, I decided that the easy part was the apple in foie gras brulee bit. The next part of the puzzle was how should I present this? I decided a Sauternes jelly would be the way to go since it is a perfect match, but thought that it would be a bit pale in colour. Another good match with something as rich as foie gras is a cherry derived sauce or gel. I was thinking Kirsch or some other cherry brandy would be good, but then it occurred to me a lambic beer would offer the right sort of cherry flavour with some sourness to contrast the rich foie gras.

So here it is, a very quick and simple recipe to make a dish that is inspired by the Michelin starred Arzak.

Foie Gras Brulee in Apple with Sauternes & Lambic Gel
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 tin of foie gras
2 x granny smith apples
100ml of Sauternes or Botrytis Semillon
100ml of Kriek Lambic Beer
Powdered gelatine

Start off by making the Sauternes and Lambic gels, pour 100ml of each in to two separate saucepans, bring to the boil. Add ¾ tablespoon of powdered gelatine. Stir until dissolved and pour through a fine sieve in to a flat container that will create approximately half a centimetre of depth to create small cubes. Place in to fridge to set (approx. 1 hour)


Slice apple in to six half centimetre slices, use a 3-4cm diameter pastry cutter to cut a circle through the centre of the slice and trim around the hole to create a rough looking circle. This may require 1 or 2 granny smiths depending upon the size and season of the apples. Poach in simmering water for a few minutes to soften but not cook the apple. Refresh in iced cold water and place on paper towel to drain

Remove the gels from the fridge and either lift out and slice in to cubes, or mash and garnish the plate. After trialling both, I think the mashed presents better, but each to their own.


Pat down the apple, place on to tinfoil and fill with foie gras, once filled, place in to freezer for 10-15 minutes for the foie gras to harden. Once hardened, sprinkle the pieces with sugar and use a brulee torch to create a toffee like shell on the foie gras. This requires a powerful blow torch and brutality, it needs to be done quickly so that the brulee shell develops before the foie gras liquefies and separates.


Transfer the apple discs on to a rectangular plate and garnish.

There you have it, a sensational Michelin Star recipe that is simple and won’t take up an entire afternoon or require a small team to clean up the kitchen.

For a first go, I am quite happy with it.

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