Foie gras and pop tarts go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you're skeptical, just ask Los Angeles pastry chef and baker Rose Lawrence. She's the woman behind the crave-able creations from Red Bread, and she made foie gras strawberry pop tarts with black pepper icing at a recent Salted pop-up dinner.
We're still mesmerized.
The pastry was light and crisp, and you couldn't quite pick out the foie gras in the filling, but it created the sensation of a rich, creamy, fruity jam on steroids. And the flecks of black peppercorn in the icing added a vaguely Sichuan, irresistible bite to the revamped breakfast pastry.
She was kind enough to share her recipe for the pastries below. And if you're wondering where to buy foie gras, try Surfas in downtown Culver City.
FOIE GRAS STRAWBERRY JAM POP TART
Makes 20-25 tarts.
Note: Adapted from Rose Lawrence. This recipe has not been tested in the Times kitchen.
4 pounds strawberries
2 pounds raw sugar
6 ounces fresh lemon juice
1. Stem and hull strawberries, any larger than a quarter should be cut in half. Toss in sugar and lemon juice, and stir to coat. Place all ingredients in a 5 quart nonreactive pot (copper, stainless steel or ceramic) over high heat. Stir every few minutes, as berries release their juices.
2. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring almost constantly near the end. Jam is ready when it reduces by roughly half, takes on a rich jewel tone and when left off the heat for 4 minutes will form a wrinkled skin on top. Pour into large bowl and move to fridge to chill. Can be made in advance and will last for 6 months in fridge.
FOIE GRAS MOUSSE
1 small lobe of foie gras, grade B or C
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
sea salt and pepper
1. Prepare the lobe of fois gras by butterflying and de-veining. (Optional: allow to soak overnight in milk, to rid any remaining blood.) Slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces and sear in a cast iron pan over medium heat for one minute on each side.
2. Pullthe foie from the pan, toss with fresh thyme, sea salt and pepper. Put all the ingredients to a food processor, and process until smooth. Cover tightly and allow to chill in your fridge.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for finishing
1. Whisk the powdered sugar to break up any clumps. Add cream, lemon juice and black pepper. Whisk until combined. The icing should be thick but still flow when you pick your whisk up out of the bowl. Chill.
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons raw sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
32 ounces cultured butter
6 ounces water, chilled
2 ounces milk, chilled
Egg wash: 1 egg, splash of milk
1. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and chill. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter to the bowl and toss till coated. Use your fingers to break up butter working it into the flour. After a few minutes, dump mixture onto your pastry surface and continue to cut butter into the flour with your bench scraper.
2. Once the butter is the size of peas, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add water. Use your bench scraper to fold the butter-flour mixture into the well and incorporate. Once incorporated, make another well, add milk and repeat. Dough should be sticky, dry and clumpy. Begin to squeeze and knead the dough together, using your bench scraper to gather any stray bits. Once dough is together, shaggy and messy but together, divide into four roughly equal rounds and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to chill for 30 minuntes to two hours.
3. Pull the dough from fridge and begin to roll out, starting in the center rolling away from you and toward you. Give the pastry a quarter turn clockwise and continue rolling out from center, repeat this process. Roll out each round of pastry dough to roughly 12 by 12-inch rectangle, or until pastry is about 1/4 inch thick. Mark and cut out 3 1/5 by 5-inch rectangles. Place on cookie sheet and return to fridge to chill. Continue rolling all pastry rounds and cutting out pop tart rectangles.
4. Pull pop tart rectangles from fridge, laying out 25 single rectangles on your pastry surface. Prepare egg wash by whisking together one egg and a splash of milk until it just flows. Brush every rectangle with egg wash. Spread a generous teaspoon of chilled fois gras mousse in the center of each rectangle. Top with scant tablespoon of strawberry jam. Working swiftly, top each pop tart with another pastry rectangle, using your fingers to seal the edges. Press gently on the pop tart with the palm of your hand to evenly distribute contents. Once all pop tarts are filled and formed, use your fork to crimp the edges and poke a few holes in the top layer of each rectangle. Move to freezer to chill for two hours.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pop tarts one inch apart on cookie sheet, brush with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes until deep golden brown. Pull from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet. When completely cooled, use your whisk to drizzle from up high icing onto pop tarts like Jackson Pollock.