Anniversary pâté en croûte; Special birthday edition.
Happy birthday to me. No real surprises in this production. Another exercise in a series of fabrications benefiting the fabrication of a legitimate pâté en croûte which is structurally, texturally, tastefully and aesthetically sound. Measurements in the pastry have been slightly altered (60/40 butter/lard) and recorded as have the forcemeat participants to ensure a consistent fill without excessive surplus. Forcemeat components were raw cured shoulder, pistachios, fatback, currants and tongue. Future filling tests will have the raw shoulder replaced with cooked ham. Pork and chicken livers marinated in brandy and port along with aromatics bound all the stuff together after being partially frozen, ground twice (meat and fat separately so that the fat doesn’t smear or melt) and puréed –but not too long as an extended stay in the whirly blades incorporates too much air and lightens the color.
Stenciling the date into the pastry lid involved several delicate dances of draftsmanship before an efficient routine could produce crisp, evenly spaced numbers. A proper cutting instrument was essential for the surgical incisions as was the temperature of the doughy patient. Warm dough is virtually impossible to cut with any precision.
For some reason the forcemeat did not shrink much and left little to no gap between the lid for the aspic. No birthday shrinkage. How about that? Needless to say, what little aspic made it through the numerical chimneys was sturdy and flavorful as far as savory port flavored Jell-O goes. Pastry was enjoyable and similar to past episodes though it eventually softens and is not as crisp as the purported hot water crust meat pies from theUK. Hot water pastry needs to be worked before it cools but is alleged to yield a firm crust (insert that’s what ___ said). Prototypes will be experimented with shortly, perhaps in a less sophomoric manner. And a special kudos to the dearest sister for the trademark slideshow.