During last summer’s London trip, we ate at two of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants. The first, The Fat Duck, was reported here. The second, dinner at Dinner, was an evening that I preferred not to document. The restaurant bases its menu on updated recreations of historical recipes researched by Blumenthal and recorded for his Heston’s Feasts series. (The mock turtle soup at The Fat Duck was from his Victorian feast.
One of the early courses in our Dinner dinner was “meat fruit,” a recipe from the Medieval Feast in which chicken liver mousse was prepared to resemble a mandarin orange. Blumenthal’s update uses foie gras terrine as a filling, but otherwise follows the original presentation, as seen at the top of this post.
Knowing that She Who Must Be Obeyed loves foie gras, and knowing that the recipe was published in Historic Heston Blumenthal, I decided to devote a week (yes, a whole week) to recreating the dish for her birthday dinner.
The first step was a two-day affair involving a ruby port/white port/madeira and shallot reduction,
sous vide cooked foie and chicken liver,
and sous vide egg yolks and butter – all of which were blended together and made into a silky terrine.
I piped the terrine into hemispherical silicone molds.
After an overnight freeze, I lightly torched the tops of the hemispheres, just enough to melt them a bit.
I folded the molds to fuse the halves into complete spheres, and added a skewer to each.
I prepared a mandarin orange jelly, held just above melting temperature, and dipped each sphere multiple times to create the peel-like texture.
The finished spheres were stored in the freezer until six hours before service.
To serve, I placed a thawed fruit on each plate, made a slight depression in the top with my thumb, and inserted a stalk and a few leaves from some ruscus (a filler plant used in floral arrangements). I painted some thick-cut sourdough bread with herb oil and grilled it under the broiler, then plated it with the fruit.
Did it look the same? Check. Did it taste the same? Check, again. Was She Who happy? Yup.