Duck Liver-Crab Apple Mousse, with Elderberry Jelly
Yield: 2 cups/1lb of pate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: Duck Egg, Elderberry syrup, Liver Pate
1lbduck or chicken liverscleaned and trimmed
2cupspeeleddiced, very tart crab apples
½cupcognac or brandy
8ozchilleddiced, unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp for sauteing
High heat cooking oilas needed for browning the livers
Elderberry jellyas needed for sealing crocks of the mousse
Combine the milk and pink salt and heat gently just to dissolve the salt. Cool the milk, then add the livers to it and allow to soak overnight.
Remove the livers from the milk, then pat dry. Season the livers to taste with salt and peppers, then brown deeply in the oil, working in batches to prevent them from stewing. It's very important the livers get browned and caramelized, otherwise the finished product will lack depth. When the last batch of livers is done, discard the oil from the pan, then add 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and add the shallots and crab apples and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the chicken livers, sugar and salt and cook until just cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cognac and flambe the mixture, then cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
Puree the mixture in a highspeed blender, or food processor gradually adding the diced, cold butter until the mixture is very smooth. Pass the mixture through a chinois strainer or sieve, then place in a container. Cover the mouse with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the pate to prevent oxidization if refrigerating. The mousse can also be frozen.
Once the mousse has chilled, remove the plastic wrap, then gently melt some of the elderberry jelly in a small saucepot. Spoon a thin, 1/4 inch layer of the jelly on top of the mousse, then refrigerate, covered, until needed.